Chichester City on the up after beating Ringmer and Crowborough

City players rush to congratulate No 7 Ken Hagen for his last gasp winner against Crowborough Athletic, still giving Chichester hope of avoiding the drop  Picture by Chris Hatton
City players rush to congratulate No 7 Ken Hagen for his last gasp winner against Crowborough Athletic, still giving Chichester hope of avoiding the drop Picture by Chris Hatton

Back-to-back wins have strengthened Chichester City’s bid to escape the drop from division one of the Sussex League.

Ringmer 1 Chichester City 2

Sussex League division one

Chichester produced a decent all-round performance to beat Ringmer at the Caburn, repeating the scoreline from when the sides met in December.

City were missing Julian Boniface and Pau Cassasa through injury, while the Ringmer line-up was nowhere near full-strength.

It took just three minutes for Chichester to take the lead, with the Ringmer defence not yet fully awake and taking their eyes off the ball for a throw-in. This allowed Tom Smith to curl in a cross-shot the sailed over the motionless keeper.

Solid work by the City back-line prevented Ringmer getting near the target for the remainder of the first half, but three minutes after the interval Marc Whiteman – so often a thorn in Chichester’s side over the years – burst through and beat keeper Matt Dann to equalise.

The match was developing into a midfield battle with little goalmouth action, although Ringmer’s Glen Matten came close with a 25-yard free-kick that went marginally wide.

Morgan Forry twice had one-on-ones with the Ringmer keeper but didn’t capitalise.

But then in the 83rd minute, Chichester got the break they needed. The Ringmer players appealed for a foul during a City attack, but play continued with a skirmish inside the home penalty area and sub Dan Smith kicked the ball into the net to claim victory.

CITY: Dann, Heath, Northeast, Tribe, Hibbert, Sanashee, Hagan, F Smith, Groom, Forry, T Smith. Subs: D Smith, Watts.

CHESTER BROWTON

Chichester City 3 Crowborough Ath 2

Sussex League division one

Kenneth Hagan scored a dramatic late winner as Chichester beat Crowborough to make it six points from two games.

With the scores level going into the last minute, Hagan rose above everyone to power home and steal the victory for resurgent City.

After a fairly drab first quarter of an hour, lively work from winger Tom Smith brought about Chi’s first corner of the game, and it was from the set-piece that the deadlock was broken.

Morgan Forry’s inswinging corner eluded everyone bar Gareth Senashee, who stole in at the back post to nod the hosts into the lead.

Another Forry cross led to the home side’s second. Crowborough keeper Tom Head couldn’t hold his curling free-kick and he punched to the edge of the box into the path of the on-rushing Corey Heath. The young right-back lashed his 25-yard drive past the motionless Head.

The two-goal advantage was shortlived as the away side came flying out of the blocks in the second period.

A fantastic volley from Josh Biddlecombe reduced the arrears ten minutes into the half. The goal seemed to galvanise the travellers and they should have had an equaliser on 80 minutes.

A slip from Jordan Tribe allowed Crowborough’s Chris Ransome in on goal, only for him to slice his shot wide of the target. Despite this let-off, Chichester were pegged back in the 82nd minute.

A quick free-kick found substitute Harry Thompson and he slotted in from six yards to bring his side level.

Seconds later Thompson thought he’d won it when his shot looked destined for the top corner but the ball crashed off the bar and the scores remained level ... that was until the 89th minute when Hagan stole the show.

CITY: Roberts, Heath, Tribe, Hibbert, Northeast, Sanashee, Smith D, Hagan, Smith T (Groom), Forry (Smith,F), Watts.

JAMES SANDFORD

Chichester are at home to Peacehaven on Saturday.