Chichester make new leaders work hard for top spot

Peacehaven went top of division one of the Sussex League - but they were made to work hard for their 3-1 victory over Chichester.

During the early stages it was predictable stuff with Peacehaven firmly in charge.

In the 11th minute they had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down, and two minutes later took the lead when right winger Callum Saunders crossed for Ashley Rees to easily convert from short range.

On 22 minutes Rees turned provider, setting up Carl Dunk to break right through the middle of the Chichester defence and make it 2-0.

For a time it seemed a real landslide might be on the cards. Rees netted was but ruled offside, and when the same player was blatantly hauled down by last-man Julian Boniface there were screams from the terrace for a red card, although the City centre-half escaped with a booking.

The first signs of a Chichester revival appeared in the 36th minute when Tom Smith sent in a stinging shot. It was a rare attempt on goal for the visitors, but playing downhill in the second half there was a major transformation.

On 47 minutes, the lively Smith drilled a ball into the goalmouth and Oliver Brookes’ effort was cleared at the last moment. From the resulting corner, the ball was shoved into the net through a forest of players with Boniface claiming the goal.

Boosted with confidence, the City players dominated the remainder of the match, having most of the possession although failing to penetrate the Peacehaven back-line.

During the final stages there was a flurry of substitutions - including the unusual sight of City joint-boss Alex Twitchen taking to the field - and the fresh legs of Peacehaven’s Joe Dryer sped down the left on 87 minutes, making a perfect delivery to Rees who slid the ball in to make the final score 3-1.

Chichester host Ringmer this Saturday.

CITY: Evans, Prior, Baker, Hibbert, Boniface, Walsingham, Cassasa, Taylor, Brookes, Mellor, T Smith. Subs: Hagan, Forry, Twitchen.