Chi Ease Into Semis
Chichester City 6-0 Mile Oak
Jordan Matthews kept a twelfth clean sheet of the season (Picture: Daniel Harker)
Chichester advanced to the semi-finals of the Peter Bentley Cup with an emphatic victory over division one outfit Mile Oak.
Back into the side came Scott Jones and Terrell Lewis and there was a debut for new signing, former Arundel player, Rory Biggs – the combative midfielder partnering Matt Axell in the centre of the park.
City dominated large spells of the game but it was Jordan Matthews who was the first keeper called into action when he gathered Lee Early’s cross from the right after two minutes.
Axell then fed the ball to Clack. Clack crossed towards Sam Ndlovu at the far post. Ndlovu’s knock-down was deflected into the path of Biggs whose shot wasn’t far off target.
At the other end Adam Dine forced Matthews into a save in the seventh minute but the City No.1 palmed a fierce drive to safety.
A nice turn from Jones got him away from his marker, only for the effort to drift just wide of the post.
Mile Oak goalie Bako Xhemal next made a good save from Biggs after a super pass by Ben Pashley. Ndlovu’s follow up was blocked and the visitors managed to clear their lines thanks to a timely challenge.
The home side’s pressure paid off in the 14th minute when Clack picked out Jones in the box and Chichester’s leading goal scorer wasn’t going to miss from there.
Moments later Ndlovu almost doubled the lead when a great jump and header from Ellis Martin sent him scampering down the left flank but the winger couldn’t get his angles right in the one-on-one with Xhemal.
Matthews then pulled off a fine save with his feet to deny Craig Anderson after a precision ball from Jack Stenning.
Mile Oak found themselves under the cosh as Clack and Martin peppered crosses in. The ball broke to Rob Hutchings when the away defence failed to clear and the City No.10 tucked a right footed shot into the corner with some aplomb.
Further chances came and went. Ndlovu sent a header just off target at the back stick and Xhemal made another good stop after link up play by Hutchings and Clack.
Clack then found Jones on the half hour who teed up Axell but his shot was always rising.
And a minute later Jones latched on to a through ball from Clack but Xhemal got something on his effort in what proved to be a double save when Ndlovu had a go with the rebound.
Clack could have made it 3-0 but fired straight at the keeper and Hutchings and Lewis both had attempts blocked.
Mile Oak almost pulled one back four minutes before the break when Anderson blazed over the woodwork after Ryan Peake headed a set-piece away.
And on the stroke of half-time Jones flashed a shot on the turn inches wide.
City started the second half brightly. There were opportunities for Biggs and Ndlovu before Hutchings got his second of the night in the 51st minute with a neat finish after Ndlovu cut the ball back to him.
George Way, who has been out for some time, came on for Axell and was soon in the thick of things. Way passed to Biggs who slotted the ball to Ndlovu. A lovely spin fooled his marker but Ndlovu dragged his shot wide.
Jones then flashed an acrobatic effort close as he got on the end of Lewis’ cross.
Rutherford introduced youngsters Ethan Anders and Theo Bennetts, a player who has been at the club since the age of eight, in place of Jones and Peake.
Within minutes Anders was on the scoresheet with his first senior goal for Chi – a well placed finish after a good knock from Way.
Way then combined effectively with Clack who threaded a pass to Lewis only for the Mile Oak keeper to get gloves on his shot and divert it for a corner.
There was nothing the keeper could do with Ndlovu’s fifth for Chichester on 74 minutes.
The visitors might have had a consolation late on. Eric Wedge-Bull forced a save out of Matthews with the City No.1 determined to keep a twelfth clean sheet of the season in all competitions, and Mohamed Shugaa got in with two to go but shot narrowly wide.
Clack scored his third goal in four games from close range in time added on.
Chichester will face Saltdean in the semis after the East Sussex side beat Newhaven 6-5 on penalties.
Lancing visit the Countrywide Gas Services Stadium in Oaklands Park on Saturday as Chi return to SCFL premier division action (Kick Off 3pm)
Chichester – Matthews, Lewis, Martin, Axell, Peake, Pashley, Clack, Biggs, Jones, Hutchings, Ndlovu. Subs: Anders, Bennetts, Way, Potter, Callnon.