Chichester City won at home to Newhaven and away to Hassocks to get their SCFL premier division season off to a 100 per cent start. Read both reports below...
Chichester City 2 Newhaven 0
First-half goals from Dave Herbert and Tiago Andrade helped City get off to winning ways at home to Newhaven.
The visitors were the only SCFL premier division outfit to do the double over Miles Rutherford’s side last season, so this was a nice spot of revenge.
Chichester were without Lorenzo Dolcetti, with Kieran Hartley and Rob Hutchings both suspended.
Rutherford gave debuts to Andrade, Terrell Lewis, and Gicu Iordache. Connor Cody, whose international clearance came through midweek, was charged with the responsibility of man-marking danger-man Lee Robinson.
The hosts went ahead from a penalty in the seventh minute after referee Ciaran Fidler judged Conor Sidwell to have handled in the box. Herbert stepped up and calmly slotted the ball away.
Dan Hegarty went close with a header five minutes later, then Newhaven’s Robinson found some space but couldn’t get a clean strike away.
Ellis Martin had a shot blocked after a nice move from Chi and Newhaven keeper Jake Buss denied Scott Jones with his feet following a clever through ball from George Way.
The hosts had the ball in the net after the resulting corner when Jones headed the ball back into the danger area but it was ruled out for offside.
Andrade tested Buss with a free-kick before Jones was close with a shot on the turn.
Lee Robinson thought he’d levelled things on 35 minutes but the referee’s assistant flagged for handball in the build-up.
The home side doubled their lead just before the break when Andrade stabbed home a cut-back from Jones.
After the interval, Andrade and Iordache linked up nicely. The Romanian fed the ball into the path of Herbert but his effort was high and wide.
Iordache should have made it 3-0 after he beat the offside trap and pushed the ball past the keeper but he found the side-netting from an acute angle with the goal gaping.
Ian Robinson blazed over for the visitors before being denied by Jordan Matthews on 65 minutes.
Chi’s Jones ran on to a long ball and tried a Marco van Basten style shot across the face of the goal. Andrade could have done better with a free header on a Martin corner.
Iordache controlled Hegarty’s cross nicely but dragged his effort wide before setting up Andrade, only for Buss to get a glove to his drive.
There were opportunities for the visitors late on but City held on to take all three points.
Chichester: Matthews, Lewis, Martin, Way, Cody, Pashley, Jones, Hegarty, Dave Herbert, Andrade, Iordache. Subs: Peake, Steve Herbert, Wild, Ndlovu, Haitham.
Hassocks 0 Chichester City 6
City have now won seven of their past eight meetings with Hassocks – and scored 27 goals in doing so.
For the opening 25 minutes, it looked as though an upset could be on the cards as Hassocks’ young side battled gamely in the Mid Sussex rain.
But when Harry Mills diverted a free-kick towards his own goal, the keeper could only parry it to leave a simple tap-in for Scott Jones.
Five minutes later, a cross from the left was turned in by Dave Herbert.
By the hour mark, Chi’s summer signing from Broadbridge Heath, Gicu Iordache, had grabbed a double to make it 4-0.
Substitutes Jimmy Wild and Rob Hutchings climbed off the bench to net in the 75th and 89th minutes.
Rutherford’s side travel to Bearstead in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday