Woeful start gives Chichester City too steep a hill to climb

CHICHESTER were beaten for the tenth consecutive game, conceding two goals inside the first few minutes - although none after that - to Peacehaven at Oaklands Park in division one of the Sussex League.

With Richard Towers vacating the manager’s position at Wick the previous week, former City duo Jamie Ford and Callum Cutler were both signed back on.

Dan Sharpe (ex-Horndean) and Barry Hooper (Moneyfields) made their debuts in what appeared one of Chichester’s strongest-looking line-ups so far this season. But Peacehaven took immediate command, earning a penalty on five minutes for handball that was dispatched by Carl Dunk.

Three minutes later a long-range screamer from Matt Fleming put the visitors firmly in the driving seat. It could have got worse when another penalty was harshly awarded, although this time Dunk’s lightweight shot was saved by stand-in keeper Ben Hitchman.

Peacehaven should have added another midway through the second half when Chamal Fenelon broke through, but Hitchman kept his cool to block magnificently from a point-blank position.

Despite Adie Girdler (right) introducing three attackers off the bench, Chichester failed to cut any ice against a well-organised outfit.

Towards the finish there was a regrettable moment when City captain Wade Johnson dived in with a badly timed tackle on Rob O’Toole. Johnson was ordered off while his opponent was stretchered off to hospital in agony.

Thankfully it later emerged his ankle wasn’t broken but only badly bruised.

CITY: Hitchman, James, Cotton, Ford, Browne, Hooper, Briggs, Johnson, Vassallo, Cutler, Sharpe. Subs: Buller, Lopez, Forry.

CHESTER BROWTON