Chichester City score five - and go six points clear at top

City celebrate a goal last week at Peacehaven - and they were on target five times at Cralwey Down Gatwick / Picture by Daniel Harker
City celebrate a goal last week at Peacehaven - and they were on target five times at Cralwey Down Gatwick / Picture by Daniel Harker

Chichester City moved six points clear at the top of the SCFL premier division after they won at Crawley Down Gatwick and second-placed Newhaven lost at home to Hassocks.

There were changes to the City side that drew at Peacehaven last time out. Back into the starting XI came keeper Ryan Young, midfielder Lorenzo Dolcetti and striker Scott Jones. Terrell Lewis was given a start at right back and Ryan Peake switched inside to partner captain Connor Cody at centre back in place of the suspended Ben Pashley.

It was end to end stuff from the off on a slick surface. Referee Daniel D’urso waved away appeals from home players for a penalty after four minutes when a shot from Michael Belli was diverted for a corner, off an arm according to some.

A lovely Chi move resulted in a foul on Dave Herbert on the edge of the box but Dolcetti’s free kick fizzed wide. Ollie Broad got a shot off in the 11th minute after he cut inside before Belli’s cross from the left was just too deep for Oli Leslie.

The best chance of the opening spell fell to Herbert when he got through one on one with Anvils stopper Andy Greaves after a nice flick on from Jones.

Greaves punched a Clack cross clear at an awkward height for Herbert to make a connection. A half chance came CDG’s way moments later but Young beat Broad to Leslie’s knock down easily enough.

Sporting students take a stand
Supersub Sam to the rescue for Chi

Jones gave Chi the lead with a super flick on 24 minutes. Haitham was then instrumental in the second goal three minutes later when he got a strong header on another delivery from Clack that bounced down and over the line off a hapless Greaves. A couple of flowing moves set up opportunities for Jones and Clack and for CDG Marc Pelling met a free kick with a downwards header that didn’t really trouble Young.

Another ‘H attack’ involving Rob Hutchings and Haitham presented Herbert with a tricky shot on the swivel before Clack fired an effort into Greaves’ midriff on the stroke of half-time.

Dolcetti put Chichester 3-0 up with a worldie top bins finish ten minutes after the restart. Jones almost profited from a mistake at the back but his attempt drifted wide of the post. Herber went close as well just after the hour following a neat exchange between Lewis and Clack. And it was Clack who made it 4-0 when he converted from the penalty spot following a foul on Jones - his fifth goal since the new year.

The hosts pulled one back with ten minutes to go as Harry Petty tucked in Leslie’s pass at close range. Matt Axell, who scored in the 3-0 win at Oaklands Park in the reverse fixture, finished things off in the 87th minute after great work from Jones.

Chi travel to Steyning on Tuesday night for the Peter Bentley Cup semi-final with Saltdean (7:30pm) and play Uckfield at home on Saturday (3pm).

Chichester City: Young, Lewis, Hutchings, Axell, Cody, Peake, Clack, Dolcetti, Jones, Herbert, Haitham. Subs: Biggs, Williams, Dunn, Way, Ndlovu