CHICHESTER wriggled out of the bottom three of Sussex League division one in their final match on Monday, defeating newly-crowned champions Peacehaven 3-1 at a sun-baked Oaklands Park.
Admittedly Peacehaven only fielded four first-team players and had Shaun Saunders’ men put in a full shift then surely the outcome would have been different.
The result means Dorking Wanderers end up in the County League Division One relegation places, although with both Peacehaven and Redhill set to join the Ryman League it seems a reprieve is on the cards for at least one team.
It didn’t take City long to find the net, Morgan Forry supplying a left-wing cross on 8 minutes that Dan Watts converted from close range.
Peacehaven almost levelled on 29 minutes when Charlie Barns crashed a shot against the crossbar, but the visitors were caught out and within seconds the ball was taken down the other end with City coming close to extending their lead.
Right on the stroke of half-time Dan Smith made it 2-0 with a brilliant curling effort from the edge of the box.
There was a glimmer of hope for Peacehaven on 73 minutes when Courtney Stoker’s long dipping delivery nosedived straight into the net, but four minutes later Aran McCarthy restored Chichester’s advantage.
With the heat taking its toll, the match ended at a pedestrian pace and, on paper at least, City had claimed their most notable scalp of the season.
CITY: Roberts, Heath, Walters, Hagan, Tribe, Sanashee, D Smith, Northeast, Watts, McCarthy, Forry. Subs: Groom, Brookes, Lawrence.
Lingfield 3 Chichester City 1
Sussex League division one
CHICHESTER joint-boss Alex Twitchen admitted he wasn’t expecting to get much out of the visit to Lingfield on Saturday, and so it proved with the hosts recording a 3-1 victory.
City’s tactic of trying to hunt the ball during the first-half proved ineffective against the strong, physical Lingfield opposition, who took the lead on 36 minutes when ex-Albion captain Nicky Forster set up Glenn Boosey to strike.
Forster added a second after the interval, but with Chichester now producing more creative football they became more competitive and ex-Bognor U-18 debutant Josh Lawrence pulled a goal back on 71 minutes.
However, Danny Oakins then made it 3-1 to secure the three points.
Lingfield’s Connor Summerfield was brought down when making a run towards goal, but the resulting penalty – taken by their keeper Rob O’Hara – was saved by Dan Roberts.
CITY: Roberts, Heath, Northeast, Tribe, Hibbert, Chaplin, Sanashee, Hagan, Brookes, Wheel, D Smith. Subs: Lawrence, M Smith.