Women's Report: Pusey double continues perfect start

By SFC Media time Wed 25 Aug Chichester and Selsey vs Saints
Photo by Sheena Booker | Georgie Freeland
Wed 25 Aug 7.45PM
FA Womens National League Southern Premier
Chichester & Selsey
Pusey [12'] [69']
Referee: Richard Sargeant | Venue: High Street Ground | Attendance: 0

An Ella Pusey double in either half continued Southampton FC Women’s perfect start to the National League Southern Premier season.

Saints stormed into the lead after 12 minutes as Ella Pusey headed home from Alisha Ware’s accurate cross.

Saints made two changes to the side who beat Plymouth Argyle on Sunday; Shelly Provan and Ciara Watling being replaced by Ware and Milly Mott.

Amongst the Chichester side was Laura da Silva, who was a regular part of the club’s Development and then first team during the 2020/21 season.

It was a positive start from the visitors, pressing their hosts back but unable to find that final ball during the opening exchanges.

A bright start got even brighter on 12 minutes, when Pusey headed home via Ware’s inch-perfect left-sided cross.

It was almost two just minutes later, Cailtin Morris finding the ball at her feet after a recycled corner routine but unable to beat keeper Sadie Blakely.

The gaps continued to appear for Saints whenever they bombed forward; Pusey feeding Georgie Freeland who cut the ball inside for Sophia Pharoah, her shot blocked before it posed any real threat.

20210825 Chichester v Southampton
Alisha Ware looked a threat on her return to the starting line-up. (Photo: Sheena Booker)

Chichester’s Sophie Phelps proved a tricky opponent for Saints’ forwards to deal with when they broke free, her height and strength giving the visitors a lot to contend with.

Phoebe Williams was next to have an effort on goal, curling a shot towards the left sided post which was well put behind by Blakely.

Saints nearly had a second on 29 minutes; the resulting corner hitting the back post before being turned in by Ware and then Laura Rafferty, but both were deemed offside.

Milly Mott was the architect for the next chance, cutting inside from the right wing and finding Freeland, who went for an ambitious curler which shaved the crossbar.

Phaorah and Freeland next combined, the latter striking an effort towards goal which was tipped over by Blakely.

Two minutes on and Pharoah was involved again, a quick give-and-go with the lively Ware before her shot was well saved once more.

As the fog from the nearby fairground filled the High Street Ground, the halftime whilst blew. Saints still only one ahead despite their dominance.

It was an equally dominant start to the second 45, Ware breaking down the left wing before cutting inside, but a returning Chichester defender prevented the shot.

Ella Pusey during National Womens League Game vs Chichester
Ella Pusey's double secured the result for Saints (Photo: Sheena Booker)

The hosts enjoyed a lot more of the ball than they did in the first, causing the midfield to become highly contested and the game a much less one-sided affair.

Spacey-Cale shaped things up just past the hour mark, bringing on Watling for Pharoah as Saints looked for a different approach going forward.

The second looked like it was never going to come and it would seemingly be a moment of brilliance or a stroke of luck which would double Saints’ lead.

In the 69th minute, it was the former as Pusey stepped over a wide free kick, which somehow found the far corner of the net from an outrageous range.

Pusey nearly had her hat-trick just minutes later, a floating cross by Freeland finding the striker’s head in the box, but she could only head into the arms of Blakely.

Despite a brighter second half for Chichester Rendell remained untested in the Saints net, as the back three of Rafferty, Leeta Rutherford and Caitlin Morris stood firm.

It wasn’t to be a hat-trick for Pusey, who was replaced on 82 minutes as Katie Rood made her debut for the club following her move from Lewes FC.

The debutant made an instant impact, bursting down the left wing and beating her defender before firing towards goal; cue an appreciative round of applause from the traveling Saints fans.

20210825 Chichester v Southampton
Phoebe Williams during last night's game. (Photo: Sheena Booker)

Next came an effort for Watling, who cut in from the left before shooting towards goal and testing Blakely once more.

Rutherford then almost added to her two headed goals on Sunday with another in the final minute, glancing her effort just wide of the far post.

But it would finish 2-0 in favour of Spacey-Cale’s side, continuing Saints’ perfect start to the season.

Next up the side return to Snows Stadium with Gillingham FC the visiting side.

Chichester and Selsey

Sadie Blakely (GK)
Sharna Capel-Watson
Sophie Phelps
Amber Howden
Sieena Howell
Megan Fox (C)
Lauren Clark
Ariana Fleischman
replace Gemma Staple (84′)
Rebecca Bell
Laura Da Silva
Gemma Simmonds
Emma Alexandre
Amelia Hammond
Natasha Wild
Gemma Staple
Sarah Saunders


Kayla Rendell (GK)
Laura Rafferty
Georgie Freeland
Phoebe Williams
Ella Pusey goal goal
replace Katie Rood (82′)
Shannon Sievwright (C)
Alisha Ware
Sophia Pharoah
replace Ciara Watling (62′)
Caitlin Morris
Milly Mott
replace Ella Morris (74′)
Leeta Rutherford
Sara Luce
Ella Morris
Shelly Provan
Katie Rood
Ciara Watling


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