CHICHESTER City remain in the depths of a Sussex League division-one relegation battle after an encouraging performance was not enough to avoid a 3-0 defeat against an organised Lingfield side.
Both sides struggled to get the ball down so it was no surprise the first chance came from a set-piece. It fell to the visitors as Gareth Graham’s cross was met by the head of Carly Coleman, who headed straight at Dan Roberts.
Neat interplay between Dan Watts and Fraser Smith brought about City’s first chance but Watts was denied by an outstretched leg – and seconds later Pau Cassasa fired wide.
However, the home side’s good start was ruined by the opening goal on 26 minutes.
Lingfield’s top scorer Glen Boosey pounced on a bobbling ball to expertly fire a low right-footed shot into the corner of the Chichester net.
This seemed to spark Lingfield into life as a flurry of chances fell to Boosey, who twice fired wide as the first half came to an end.
The second half started in a positive manner for Chichester and, on 53 minutes, the pressure told as they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Watts. He dusted himself down only to smash the spot-kick against the bar.
His misery was compounded as the visitors broke and Scott Simpson doubled the lead.
In the 65th minute, a mix-up in the Chichester defence gifted Boosey the chance to double his tally.
Incredibly, though, he fired over with an open goal gaping.
The miss proved to be only a respite for the home side as Dan Oakins was played through and hit a wonderful volley into the top left corner to ensure the three points would be heading home with the away side.
On their penalty miss, Chichester boss Alex Twitchen said: “If we’d have scored and got it back to 1-1, we could’ve gone on and got the win, but it really deflated us.”
CHICHESTER: Roberts, Heath, Hibbert, Northeast, Tribe, Casassa, F Smith, Taylor, Brooks, Watts, T Smith. Subs: Forry (60) Baker (84) Groom (85).