Jimmy Wild, seen here in action against 1874 Northwich in the FA Vase, scored twice against EP (Picture: Tommy McMillan)
Reporter: Dan Andrade
Scott Jones and Jimmy Wild both bagged braces on what was a wet, cold and windy February afternoon at Oaklands Park, as City edged past East Preston to get back to winning ways following a week of cup exits.
The game started at a fast tempo. EP had the first clear cut chance in the third minute after a knockdown from Tom Lyne, only for Hayden Hunter to fire wide of the left hand post.
Then Scott Murfin got through on goal for the home side but his effort was blocked by the visitors’ keeper, Ben Purkis.
Jones opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a crisp finish after a delightful pass from Dave Herbert.
Hunter went immediately down the other end and forced young keeper, Lewis Turnbull, into a fine tackle at the feet of the dangerous striker.
This was followed by another chance for the visitors but Josh Etherington’s effort hit the post and rolled agonisingly along Turnbull’s goaline, with the keeper, who was making his league debut, diving onto the ball.
The home side then doubled their lead. Murfin whipped in a killer ball into the centre that gifted Jones with one of the easiest finishes he’ll have all season.
Jones could have completed his hat-trick moments later. A super pass from Lorenzo Dolcetti sent Wild on his way down the left. Wild squared it to Jones but the usually reliable striker skewed his shot from the edge of the six yard box.
Dan Huet halved the deficit with a calm finish after the City defence was opened up.
However, Chi went 3-1 up from the spot just before the interval after Wild was brought down by Jack Barnes. Wild picked himself up and confidently tucked the penalty away.
Matt Searle had an early chance for the visitors straight after the break but couldn’t quite get to a measured cross.
Jones and then Charlie Williamson had opportunties for City in the 52nd minute before good work from Wild teed up Murfin who struck the outside of the near post.
Moments later the home side did get their fourth. Murfin turned provider this time and Wild curled the ball into the bottom corner with a sublime finish.
Ryan Quirke then pulled one back for East Preston on 73 minutes with a shot that was too strong for Turnbull, to set up a tense finish.
Rob Hutchings, on for Jones, did well to win the ball back and after a nice exchange with Herbert got a shot off that was deflected for a corner.
Murfin then had an effort blocked and Herbert sent one high and wide.
Chi finished the game with ten men when Luke Killner was deemed to have handled on the line blocking a fierce George Laughlin header from a corner with a minute of normal time to go. Jake Heryet smashed the penalty into the top corner.
Updated 11:30 - 3 May 2018 by Ian Worden