Chichester are the comeback kings - twice

Chichester City came back from the dead at Newhaven
Chichester City came back from the dead at Newhaven

Four points from two games made it a great week for Chichester City - but they left in late in both games.

Newhaven 3 Chichester 4

Sussex League division one

CHICHESTER produced an epic comeback when they came from 3-0 down to beat Newhaven with four goals in the last half-hour at Ford Road on Saturday.

Newhaven boss Lee Brace was spotted taking notes at Oaklands Park four days beforehand when City played Worthing United, although he left the ground early. Perhaps he should have stayed to the end to check on City’s staying power.

John Lansdale missed a penalty early on before Ryan Knight gave them the lead with a second header following a corner. Craig Bunch then made it 2-0 from close range on 42 minutes.

Despite having more control during the first-half, Chichester failed to create any proper chances and as a consequence were paying the price. However, they were still in contention from the outset of the second period until Mark Pulling headed in at the far post on 50 minutes to give the Dockers a seemingly unassailable advantage.

But a blitz of goals from Tom Groom, Joe Gromett (two) and Peter Hibbert during a stunning 20-minute spell totally transformed the contest.

Chichester also had another goal disallowed while Newhaven were then reduced to ten men when last-man Pulling received his marching orders.

Several minutes of added time led to a nervy finish with Newhaven throwing everyone forward in search of an equaliser, but City held on for a momentous success.

“We should never have been 3-0 down at all – we were on top for the first 40 minutes,” said City joint-boss Sean Forry afterwards. “At half-time I still felt comfortable we could score three goals. I think the fact it was our third game in eight days made a difference, with the players back to their full fitness.

“I wish I could say I made some tactical masterstroke, but I didn’t,” chortled Forry, whose side continue their ascent of the Division One league table.

CITY: Ender, Brookes, Northeast, Boniface, Hibbert, Kilner, Groom, Hegarty, Gromett, Landais, F Smith.

Chichester 1 Littlehampton 1

Sussex League division one

Meanwhile a dramatic last-minute penalty saw Chichester City clinch a valuable home point against Littlehampton on Tuesday night.

The match ended in heated fashion, with referee Barrie Small besieged by the visitors over the award of the last-gasp spot-kick.

Ten-man Littlehampton looked to have settled the game when Dan Simmonds netted two minutes from time, but moments later, Julian Curnow was judged to have fouled Joe Gromett and City’s in-form striker slotted home the spot kick to leave honours even.