As the Arun & Chichester Youth Football League season approaches the three-month mark, it’s time for an update on the fortunes of our local Chichester clubs – Chichester City Youth, Chichester City Colts & Whyke United, writes Will Sparrow.
As all under-seven to under-ten teams enjoy their development matches, the competitive leagues are well under way from under-11s up to the under-18 age group. As Chichester’s sole representative at under-18 level, Chi City Colts have started the season in solid fashion and are in mid-table with seven points from five matches. A second-round cup exit was the only sour point of their season so far. Whyke have started their under-16 season in the A league in inconsistent fashion, but two convincing challenge cup wins have moved them into the quarter-finals.
Chichester City Colts under-16s are top of the B league with a 100 per cent record and like Whyke, a place in the challenge cup quarter-finals has been achieved.
Chichester City Youth represent the city in the under-15 age group with two teams. The Whites are third in the A division and have Challenge Cup quarter-final and County Cup second-round matches on the horizon.
The Greens have had a tough start in the B division but have plenty more matches to play. The under-14 A division is awash with Chichester teams, with Whyke having two representatives. The orange team are third with five wins from seven matches and a Challenge Cup semi-final to come.
Whyke’s black team, although pointless in the league, had two convincing cup wins before losing to their orange counterparts in the quarter-finals. Chichester Youth have had two league wins and have an Invitation Cup quarter-final in the pipeline. Chichester City Colts under-13s have nine points on the board from five A league matches, but the story of their season so far has been in the cups, where five wins have given them quarter-finals in the county and challenge cups to look forward to.
Chichester City Youth sit joint top of the A league after six matches. A couple of cup defeats have left them with a U13 title challenge to focus on.
In the under-12 B division, Chi Colts have bragging rights, sitting unbeaten at the top of the league. Chi City Youth sit just below mid-table but Whyke are pointless, although only after some narrow defeats.
The Colts’ white team sit fourth in the under-12 A league with ten points from five games and have a third-round Challenge Cup tie to look forward to.
Chi City Colts have had a tough start in the under-11B division, but last time out they had a 5-2 win to give them confidence.
Chi Youth, also in the B league, have fared better and sit third with five wins from seven matches.
AFC Worthing Stars 6 Avisford Youth 4
A stirring fightback from Avisford proved in vain as a poor start again cost them dear.
Worthing defeated their opponents 9-2 in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season, and they raced into a five-goal lead inside the first 20 minutes to leave Avisford reeling.
The task was made even more difficult as they were forced into a reshuffle with Sammy Copeland replacing Alfie Greene. Copeland, a left winger by trade, slotted into right-back and performed admirably.
To their enormous credit, Avisford rolled up their sleeves and proceeded to play arguably their best football of the season.
Matt Kill pulled one back after he tapped in the rebound from Fin Brian’s shot, then Charlie Hunter bagged his fifth goal of the season to reduce the half-time deficit to 5-2.
Jack Dignum replaced Luke Salter up front at the break and his surging runs and work-rate caused more problems for the Worthing defence.
Six minutes into the second half, Dignum’s close range effort was saved by the Worthing keeper, a goalmouth scramble ensued and the ball was turned home by Daniel Hall as Avisford sensed an unlikely comeback.
However Worthing added a decisive sixth when Matthew Holden beat the offside trap to fire past Jake Longley. But Avisford were not done with captain Brian finishing impressively to make it 6-4.
The black and whites continued to press as Matt Kill went agonisingly close to reducing the deficit to one goal, but his shot was cleared off the line as a grateful Worthing held on.
AVISFORD: Longley, Greene, Nowak, Wasowski, Hunter, Brian, Copeland, Hall, Salter. Subs: Dignum, Kill.