It was another difficult day for Selsey as they entertained third placed Lingfield at the High Street Ground, the visitors running out 4-1 winners.
Lingfield dominated the early exchanges as the Blues struggled to contain a big Lingfield side. The visitors’ fast, direct play was too much for Selsey who again had am inexperienced side.
The deadlock was broken midway through first half when an unfortunate slip by Howard Low defending a straightforward cross into the box allowed Sam Clements to stab home.
Low has had another excellent season and been key to the team’s defence, which has one of the best records in the division.
Two decent saves from Warren Boyt in the home goal prevented the lead being increased. Selsey continued to try to play and their best chance of the first half fell to Cameron Corell after a sweeping move left him one on one with the keeper – but Corell was unable to convert.
Within two minutes of the second half Lingfield had double their lead, Clements firing home from close range.
A last-ditch clearance from Langney’s skipper prevented a remarkable comeback.
The goal rallied the home side, who enjoyed their best spell. With the returning Toby Pointing pulling the strings in midfield Selsey began to create chances, the best of which fell to James Kilhams and Frazer Smith. Both fluffed their chances when well-placed.
As the home side pressed, gaps were left.
From a Selsey corner which struck the frame of the goal Steve Bailey’s men found themselves three down on 62 minutes – a quickfire break ending in a deep cross misjudged by Boyt allowing MoM Nick Dembele to score his first. Dembele had terrorised Selsey right-back Ben Dines all game.
Again Selsey rallied but an almost-identical break allowed Lingfield to score a fourth. A deep cross into the Selsey area was converted by Dembele.
The Blues did not lay down, continuing to play decent football, and they were rewarded with a consolation when sub Morgan Forry cut in from the left and was felled in the box. Forry converted the penalty.
The Blues travel to Bexhill on Saturday and go to Wick on Easter Monday (11am).
AFC Uckfield 1 Chi City 1
Chi City looked to be heading for their second away win in a week when another Kaleem Haitham goal put them 1-0 up at AFC Uckfield with 16 minutes left.
But Miles Rutherford’s side couldn’t hold on for victory, Trevor McCreadie’s 90th-minute goal ensuring honours were even.
The point left City sixth, but only six points off leaders Horsham YMCA, and their hopes of getting back to winning ways at home to Loxwood on Tuesday were dashed when the the game was called off just a few hours before kick-off.
Chi host Newhaven on Saturday and go to Pagham at 11am on Monday.
Midhurst 4 Langney 5
SCFL division one
It was a case of deja vu for Midhurst after another goal-fest saw them lose narrowly to second-placed Langney.
They almost came back from a three-goal deficit and manager Shane Brayson and assistant Dean Inman felt this was a statement of intent against a top side, showing positives for the 2018 -19 season which the Stags hope will bring silverware.
Gary Norgate scored a hat-trick and Kieran Carter netted from the spot.
Another slow start from Midhurst saw the visitors take the lead. Possession was lost and a counter-attack ensued and a misplaced pass made its way to Paul Weatherby, who had time to pick his spot and tuck home.
Langley got their second goal quickly when a corner was whipped it and a free header by Wanderers skipper Paul Rogers beat Billy Nash in goal.
Midhurst seemed to relax and Joel Stevens and Kieran Carter began to create on the wings while Rich Carter, Harry Tollworthy and Duncan Brown started to dictate play in the centre.
On 25 minutes a dangerous cross saw Norgate slot home but the linesman flagged offside.
Not long after this Midhurst did get one back. Kieran Carter found himself in plenty of space 20 yards out and a neat threaded pass into Norgate put the striker one of one with the Wanderers number one. Norgate kept his cool to round the keeper and slot home.
An equaliser almost came on the half-hour mark. Stevens, back after a lengthy lay -off, jinked past several players and sent a 25-yard shot heading towards the top corner but the keeper made a fine save.
The second half started with the home team dominating possession but then two quick break away goals, scored by Loam Baitup and Tyler Capon, had the visitors 4-1 up .
On came George Petrie and Chris Harvey in place of Stevens and Tollworthy. Petrie made an instant impact setting Norgate free on 70 minutes to race free and smash home his second.
Direct from the kick-off, Rogers left the stranded Nash rooted to the spot to make it 5-2.
Midhurst kept probing and were a joy to watch. On 78 minutes subs Harvey and Petrie linked up to set Kieran Carter free and he was tripped in the box. The forward calmly slotted home to make it 5-3.
Midhurst’s fourth and Norgate’s third came on 87 minutes. A good interception from Jamie Hill allowed the left-back to set Brown free and he was tripped.
Rich Carter put a dangerous free-kick on to the head of big centre-half Callum Fewell and his ball across the box found Norgate eight yards out to head home.
A frantic final few moments almost saw an equaliser. From a Rich Carter corner a goalmouth scramble followed. Mark Broughton and Fewell had half-chances cleared before Petrie sent a volley flying goalbound. But a last-ditch clearance from Langney’s skipper prevented a remarkable comeback.
Midhurst: Nash, Casselton, Fewell, Broughton, Hill, R Carter, D Brown, Tollworthy, K Carter, Norgate, Stevens. Subs: Petrie, Harvey, Hamilton.