Rookettes cruise into semi-finals of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup

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Lewes cruised into the semi-final of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup with a 7-0 victory over Chichester City Ladies at the Dripping Pan on Sunday.

The sides last met in the final of this competition two years ago when Lewes triumphed in a more evenly-contested affair. However, this time around Chichester had barely a sniff as braces from Naomi Cole and Georgia Bridges and goals from Charlotte Bennett, Jenny Chiumento and Nicole Webley proved more than enough for the Rookettes.

Cole grabbed the all-important first two goals within 15 minutes, controlling a goal kick before lofting it back over the keeper’s head from 35 yards and then side-footing home a Bridges cross.

It was 3-0 on 25 minutes when a flowing passing move via Steph Carter and Andreia Veiga eventually reached Chiumento and she found Bridges who finished unerringly past the advancing keeper.

Bennett all but killed the game off shortly before half time when she won a free kick on the edge of the area and then glanced in a header from the resulting delivery for 4-0.

The Lewes centre back pairing of Lel Smith and Vicky Elcome were always in the right place to snuff out any danger, leaving full backs Katie MacIntyre and Steph Carter to get forward and deliver crosses, Bennett almost converting but denied by last ditch defending.

Chichester started the second half brighter and Lewes keeper Michelle Beazley was relieved to see an awkwardly-bouncing free kick ricochet wide off her knees.

She saved bravely at the feet of Abby Shrubb before keeping her side’s clean sheet intact with two more fine one-on-one saves as Chichester threatened to break through with direct counter attacking.

Lewes were back on top in the last 25 minutes and Chiumento got a deserved goal when she tucked home from substitute Clare Trafford’s pass.

The same combination almost produced a second but Chiumento’s shot drifted wide before substitute Webley hit the goal of the game with a smart turn and volley from 20 yards. Trafford then found Katie Baker whose curling effort hit the bar but Lewes Player of the Match Bridges was on hand to tuck in the rebound.

The Rookettes will now meet Worthing or Crawley Wasps in the semi-final on February 17.