CHICHESTER were beaten 4-0 at Littlehampton, falling behind after just three minutes and never recovering from the early setback.
City had beaten the Marigolds 5-1 in a cup match in November but, with the league title firmly in their sights, Littlehampton were a different proposition in this Sussex League division-one fixture.
A rush forward immediately from kick-off led to pressure in the Chichester goalmouth, and when the ball wasn’t cleared Biff Shelley muscled in to force it into the net.
There was another close shave on 28 minutes when Littlehampton keeper Jon Hendrick launched a long ball that took a bounce before opportunist striker David Herbert almost flicked it home.
Four minutes later, Golds’ impressive playmaker Kieran Pamment got past an opponent on the right and delivered a perfect cross which Herbert knocked in with ease to make it 2-0.
A short delay followed after referee Mallows was dazed when the ball smacked him on the back of the head.
Littlehampton came out with all guns blazing at the start of the second half, and former City striker George Landais hit the post with Darren Boswell missing the wide open goal on the rebound.
But Landais rectified things in the 50th minute, breaking clean through and keeping his composure to slot in the third.
Three minutes later, Shelley initiated a superb move in midfield, with a huge cross finding Landais unmarked at the far post and a straightforward finish made it 4-0.
City’s best chance came when Dan Hegarty crashed in a powerful shot, but it was turned away for a corner.
CITY: Ender, Williams, Bingham, Pearce, Cody, Hegarty, Hartley, Edwards, Ansa, Frangou, Case. Subs: Fowlie, Eyres, Dowden.
* City lost 2-0 at Shoreham on Tuesday.
They visit Ringmer this Saturday.