Jimmy Wild in action against 1874 Northwich (Picture: Tommy McMillan)
Reporter: Dan Andrade
Jimmy Wild can’t stop scoring at the moment. The City striker hit another brace against Crawley Down Gatwick, making it six goals in three games now, after captain Jack Lee put the home side 1-0 up in a five-goal thriller.
Chi welcomed back Lorenzo Dolcetti and Kieran Hartley and manager Miles Rutherford gave Rob Hutchings a start.
It took City just three minutes to open the scoring. After Lorenzo Dolcetti was fouled, Ruben French whipped in a free kick that picked out Lee, and the charismatic centre half found the corner of the goal with a looping header.
The visitors were under constant pressure in this opening spell and had a high pressing game to contend with.
A deep corner in the fifth minute was headed back into the box by Dave Herbert but Seb Bos managed to deal with it. Then Bos had to palm away another delivery from the on-rushing Lee.
The home side continued to dominate the game. Herbert jinked past a couple of players on a run and with the referee rightly playing advantage stung the keeper’s gloves with a rasping shot. Next a great touch from Wild helped him bring the ball down neatly before blazing over the bar.
Moments later Wild did find the net after a super move by the home side. Herbert went on another mazy run, found Hutchings on the wing and the No.7's inch perfect cross allowed Wild to power his bullet header past Bos.
Hutchings next had a golden chance to put the game to bed within the first half hour after Scott Murfin sent him on his way only for Hutchings to hit his shot straight at Bos.
At the other end Mike Belli had the Anvils first opportunity but lifted his shot over. Lee Thomas then had a cross blocked by Ben Pashley before Ant Ender gathered his second attempt comfortably.
On 27 minutes French connected sweetly with an effort from distance that was narrowly wide.
Then a crazy couple of minutes saw two quick fire goals, one for each side. Crawley pulled one back against the run of play when Sam Packham slotted home from close range after a defensive mistake only for City to go straight down the other end and Wild smartly lobbed Bos, restoring their two-goal lead.
CDG got back into things from a free kick, with Packham’s centre half partner, Marc Pelling, heading the ball into the net to set up a tense second half.
Murfin had two chances before the break but both his efforts went wide of the post – the first a crisp header after Hutchings set him up; the second an effort that just drifted past the right stick after he latched on to a long kick from Ender.
The second half was something of a disappointment compared to the frenetic first half.
Wild saw his header go just wide of the post after Lorenzo Dolcetti, who shone all night, drew another free kick. Then a super turn from Herbert on the hour mark set him up for a shot but it was deflected for a corner.
Nick Sullivan almost got in for the visitors before Murfin drove just wide following another piece of skilful play by Dolcetti.
The game threatened to peter out, with a lot of scrappy battles in midfield, then Wild broke free again, only for a last-ditch tackle to deny him his deserved hat-trick. Minutes later Herbert flashed a ball across the box, however there were no Chi attackers in there to get on the end of his cross.
In what was a physical game, the visitors finished with 10 men, Williams Peauroux receiving a second yellow card after catching Pashley late, just minutes from the final whistle.
An impressive attacking first half performance and a battling second half one earned Chichester the victory that moves them up to second place, four points behind table toppers Horsham YMCA with a game in hand. That's five league wins on the spin now. Rutherford's side also picked up the SCFL Premier Team of the Month award for January this week.
Chi entertain Littlehampton Town on Saturday at Oaklands Park, 3pm kick off.
Chichester - Ender, Hartley, French, Lee, Williams, Pashley, Hutchings, Dolcetti, Murfin, Herbert, Wild. (Subs. Martin, Lis, Williamson, Peake, Haitham)
Updated 19:21 - 21 Feb 2018 by Ian Worden