Sam Ndlovu, seen here in action against Steyning, scored his fifth goal of season in the Sussex Senior Cup win over Hailsham Town (Picture: Daniel Harker)
First half strikes from Matt Axell and Kaleem Haitham together with Ellis Martin and Sam Ndlovu goals after the break helped Chichester progress to the next round of the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup.
Chi boss Miles Rutherford made several changes to the side that bowed out of the FA Vase. Ndlovu and Haitham, who came on as subs against Windsor as City chased the game, were given starts and Ryan Parke partnered Ben Pashley in the centre of the defence with Connor Cody moving up into midfield.
The visitors signalled their intent in the opening minute when Dave Herbert went close with a shot on the turn after a precision pass from Martin.
Hailsham then won a corner and Chi keeper Jordan Matthews, who had plenty to do on the evening, pulled off a sharp save to deny Dean Stevens’ fierce effort.
A super ball down the left flank from Martin sent Rob Hutchings on his way but his cross couldn’t pick out a teammate.
Hutchings next linked up with Haitham who teed up Axell. A defender blocked his effort and Cody fired the loose ball over the bar.
Axell put Chichester ahead in the eighth minute with a blistering half volley from outside the box. Phil Hawkins got both hands on it but there was too much venom in Axell’s shot.
Cody almost capitalised on a mistake at the back moments later before Haitham doubled the lead with barely ten minutes on the clock after a flowing move involving Martin and the pacey Ndlovu. Hawkins managed to parry Herbert’s attempt but Haitham found the back of the net with a low drive.
Half chances came and went for Martin and Herbert.
Haitham then stung Hawkins’ gloves and the Stringers keeper did well to punch another shot away.
Some great skill from Ndlovu saw him ghost past three players but the ball bobbled and his effort skewed wide.
At the other end Matthews had to gather a nicely hit free-kick at the second attempt and got his body behind a long range attempt on the half hour mark.
Six minutes later Martin’s goal-bound shot was hooked away.
Chi pressed and forged a number of opportunities before the interval. A Ndlovu shot took a nick and almost sent Hawkins the wrong way; Axell made the keeper work from a set-piece; Haitham went close again; and Hutchings fired just over the frame of the goal.
Some five minutes or so into the second half Martin scored his third goal in five games. Cody’s cross deflected off a Hailsham player and the No.3 was in the right place at the right time to tuck the ball home.
The home side pulled one back almost immediately when Connor Townsend headed past Matthews.
Haitham then blasted an effort over before Hawkins got to the ball before the onrushing Herbert.
Scott Taylor sent a shot inches wide as the division one side, with just the one home loss at the Beaconsfield this season coming into the game, looked to change the momentum.
Ndlovu made it 4-1 though with a nice finish after impressive exchanges between Hutchings and Cody.
A couple of Martin set-pieces caused Hawkins some problems and only a timely tackle prevented Sam Divall getting in one on one with Matthews.
Rutherford brought on a mixture of youth in Luke Wallis and Ethan Anders and experience in Danny Potter. And Potter had a chance with his first touch but headed just past the post. Hawkins reacted quickly to save Anders' shot and the youngster fired a free-kick over in the dying minutes.
After three cup matches in a week Chi return to SCFL premier division action on Saturday against Newhaven in another road-trip to East Sussex. The Dockers did the double over Rutherford’s side last year and have lost only once in the league since the opening day defeat at Oaklands Park. In Lee Robinson they’ve also got a player who likes scoring against City. Five points separate table-toppers Chichester and Newhaven who are in fourth place but with a game in hand.
Chichester – Matthews, Hartley, Martin, Axell, Peake, Pashley, Haitham, Cody, Hutchings, Herbert, Ndlovu. Subs: Wallis, Anders, Potter, Dolcetti.
Updated 10:10 - 30 Dec 2018 by Ian Worden