City Lose out to Loxwood
Chichester City 1-4 Loxwood
Picture: Tommy McMillan
An own-goal and second half strikes from Tiago Andrade, Adam Williams and Ed Davis condemned Chichester to a second defeat in three games in what is proving to be a rocky roller coaster run-in to the end of the season.
Loxwood are one of the in-form teams in the Southern Combination premier and they travelled to Oaklands Park on the back of three straight wins. The sides drew 1-1 when they met in the reverse fixture at the Recreation Ground back in September. Scott Jones was on target for Chi that evening. How the home team could have done with their leading marksman this time. In what was one of those days City were a bit short on cutting edge and spurned a number of chances before succumbing to two late sucker-punch goals as they chased the game.
Things could have been very different for Chichester inside ten minutes as first Dan Hegarty and then Josh Clack worked their way into good positions. Neither player though was able to really test the Magpies' keeper Dave Carruthers.
In a period dominated by the home side Clack was sent on a raid again by Max Thoms. The City winger cut inside and got his drive off but it drifted wide of the left hand post.
Loxwood probed where they could and City No1 Ant Ender got a glove on a smart shot from deadline day signing Ollie Moore in the 23rd minute and palmed the ball away.
The opening goal just wouldn't come for Chichester. Hegarty, who was in the thick of things all game, had two good chances within the space of five minutes. The first a header that looped over. The second came after a nice pass from Kieran Hartley when Hegarty knocked the ball beyond the on-coming Carruthers but couldn't tuck it away. Then just before the break Clack had a fierce effort blocked after a mix up in the Loxwood defence.
The visitors made Chi pay for their missed opportunities on the hour. Andrade, who proved a real handful, had his cross-cum-shot deflected in past Ender off a hapless City defender. This lead was then doubled four minutes later. Andrade did get the final touch this time, poking home the loose ball from Harry Bachelor's effort.
Chichester pressed but luck just wouldn't come their way and Carruthers and his defence held firm. Then on 77 minutes City got a life-line when substitute Loucca Keenoy was pulled back in the box and skipper Ellis Martin's penalty had too much on it for the Loxwood keeper.
With ten minutes or so to go Chi manager Miles Rutherford changed things up in a bid to get something out of the game. Defender Jack Lee pushed up front and City went with three at the back.
Loxwood caught their opponents out twice on the break as Williams and then Davis were gifted tap-ins in the 83rd and 90th minute.
Chichester Coach Danny Potter was philosophical after the game, “We've missed a few chances here today but all credit to Loxwood. They're having a good run at the moment. We'll reflect on things and go again in the Bank Holiday derby against Pagham.”
City – Ender, Williams, Lee, Martin, French, Pashley, Thoms (Lister), Hartley (Keenoy), Hegarty, Hooker (Northeast), Clack