Yeovil Town Women returned to The Clayson Stadium in Dorchester on Sunday with an unchanged starting line-up against Chichester and vociferous support from more than 250 fans.
The club’s new owner Adam Murry travelled from his base in America to be there for the game.
Jamie Phillip’s charges began strongly and enjoyed a lot of early possession. Although Yeovil forced a flurry of early corners it was a scrappy start to the opening 10 minutes of the game.
Yeovil began to put pressure on Chichester City but were restricted to long range shots that either failed to test the goalkeeper, or were directly at her.
The best chance of the game came from a Sarah Wiltshire wide free kick that fizzed across the box and with only the slightest of touches needed to direct it towards the goal, it sailed wide.
The first half continued to ebb and flow without either team really clicking In response Megan Wood curled an effort at goal that was well turned away to safety.
Yeovil continued to fail to break into the Chichester box with compact defending from City.
As the end of the half approached Yeovil were sparked into life after Beth Howard had to act sharply to stop a dangerous effort from City’s captain Megan Fox sailing in. Annie Heatherson, Meesha Dudley-Jones, Wood, and Wiltshire all went close but failed to find the net.
Half-time: Yeovil Town Women FC 0 – 0 Chichester City LFC
The second half began like the first with Yeovil trying their luck from distance but excellent goalkeeping thwarted any danger. The early exchanges saw Dan Carlton sting the palms of the goalie before Annie Heatherson drove the ball across the face of the goal but it somehow missed all of Yeovil’s attackers.
With the hour mark up Jamie Phillip made a double substitution with Harriet Lambe and Wood coming off for Erin Bloomfield and Katie Jones, who was available for her debut appearance after suspension.
This sparked an immediate impact from Bloomfield who provided a strong presence up top. From a corner a less than clean header meant the second ball landed at her feet and was poked home for the 17-year-old to continue her scoring run.
The goal provided the much needed breakthrough and lifted Yeovil with Bloomfield failing to connect with a great chance to volley home her second.
Sarah Wiltshire had enjoyed a lot of the ball out wide all game and after a neat through ball unleashed the trademark lob to finally double Yeovil’s lead.
Yeovil continued to pile on the pressure as Aldridge’s hooked volley was expertly tipped over and Bloomfield again couldn’t get her toe to poke home another.
The pressure finally paid off as Aldridge provided the third. After some neat play Yeovil’s #11 provided a cultured curling finish from the edge of the area.
Full-time: Yeovil Town Women FC 3 – 0 Chichester City LFC
Jamie Phillip: “I’m very proud of the girls’ performance. It was one of those games today. But we never gave up and got the win we deserved. Consistency is key though and we have to keep performing. A special mention to the fans, your support means a huge amount to the players, and the staff.”
Kelly Aldridge: “Overall I think today went well. It’s hard to break teams down who defend well but we kept going. We dominated and had plenty of shots. I’m loving being back at this club and really enjoying playing with the squad that has been assembled for the club, the management, and fans.”
Match report from Ewan Greenhill,
Head of Performance, YTWFC.