Women's Report: Saints 8-0 Chichester & Selsey


Southampton Women continued their unbeaten streak with a comprehensive 8-0 victory over Chichester & Selsey in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier.

A superb strike from Lucia Kendall saw Saints take the lead after seven minutes of play at Snows Stadium with Georgie Freeland adding a second just moments later.

A Sophia Pharoah brace ensured Saints held a four goal advantage heading into the break, adding a third late in the second half.

Shannon Sievwright, Katie Rood and Ciara Watling added to the tally to make it a comprehensive victory in front of the home crowd.

Kayla Rendell, Laura Rafferty, Sophia Pharoah and Megan Collett came into the starting XI as Marieanne Spacey-Cale made four changes to the team that claimed victory over Bournemouth in the Hampshire FA Senior Cup on Sunday to secure their spot in the final of the competition. 

Saints were the first to feel the pressure at Snows Stadium as Chichester looked to strike early. Gemma Simmonds recovered the ball within seconds of play commencing before releasing a shot that ultimately bounced wide. 

After an early glimpse of power from the visitors, Saints quickly gained control of proceedings and began playing in the way many fans have become accustomed to at Snows Stadium this season.

It took just seven minute for the hosts to take the lead through a sublime Lucia Kendall strike. What appeared to initially be a cross from the right flank resulted in the ball firing into the top left-hand corner.  

Within seconds of the restart Ella Morris nearly doubled Saints’ lead before she saw her shot deflected and bounce behind for a corner.

It didn’t take long for Saints to notch a second, though, as Ella Morris’ corner found Rosie Parnell in the box before Freeland tapped in for the second of the evening.

A sustained period of possession followed for the hosts before captain Phoebe Williams had her attempt on goal denied by the post.

Chichester nearly found an opening as a high looping ball found Natasha Wild at the far post but her shot failed to hit the target, bouncing past the post and away for a Saints goal kick.

After 30 minutes of play, Sophia Pharoah added Saints’ third goal of the night with another wonderstrike after an inch-perfect pass from Ella Morris.

Chichester looked to retaliate as Wild danced past Collett and Leeta Rutherford before releasing Gemma Simmonds in the box, whose shot was soon deflected behind for a corner. The two consecutive corners saw the visitors come close to finding a lifeline but the Saints defence was there to adequately clear the threat.

With tensions rising on an icy night at Snows Stadium, Simmonds found herself in the book for a challenge on Ella Morris.

With half-time rapidly approaching Saints continued to dominate the action as Pharoah secured her second of the evening to ensure Saints headed into the break with a comprehensive four goal advantage.

Rosie Parnell was spared her blushes as her attempt to clear the ball fell straight into the path of Jane Yeates in front of goal but her shot lacked power, making it an easy save for the Saints goalkeeper.

Complacency was never in question for Saints who continued their energetic performance after the break, with super substitute Shannon Sievwright firing home a fabulous strike from outside the area within a couple of minutes of play resuming.

With 55 minutes played, Pharoah found the back of the net for the third time but was ultimately denied her hattrick by the offside flag.

In a similar pattern to the first half, a lull in the action ensued as Saints continued to maintain possession. Wiliams launched in a delightful ball to Laura Rafferty in the area but her attempt on goal was a weak one, dribbling wide of the post.

The Saints attack continued to apply pressure on the Chichester defence as they searched for a sixth goal, with some valiant defending from Sophie Phelps to make a clearance in the absence of a temporarily stricken Sadie Blakely.

Marieanne Spacey-Cale looked to her bench for a renewal of energy as the hour mark passed with Katie Rood coming on to replace Georgie Freeland. A flurry of substitutions followed, with Shelly Provan and Ciara Watling coming on in place of Megan Collett and Lucia Kendall.

With just ten minutes of play remaining, Saints were awarded a penalty after Shelly Provan was brought down inside the area. Calm and collected, Rood has no hesitation in finding the back of the net from the penalty spot.

Only five minutes would pass before Saints netted their seventh goal of the evening as Pharoah finally converted to secure her hat-trick. It was a lovely ball from goalscorer Rood to release Pharoah in on goal as she danced past the goalkeeper and tapped the ball into the back of the net.

As the action drew to a close there was still time for one more goal at Snows Stadium as Ciara Watling's looping shot found the back of the net to give Saints their eighth goal of the evening.

With the clock winding down there was still time for some extra dramatics as Chichester found themselves reduced to nine players, with the referee blowing the final whistle just moments later.

Saints now host Bristol City at St Mary’s Stadium in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday.