Clack Helps City Click
Chichester City 5-2 Arundel
(Picture: Tommy McMillan)
Things have started to click now for City who picked up all three points in their opening home game thanks to two goals apiece from Josh Clack and Scott Jones and a second half strike by Dave Herbert against his former club.
It was an action packed, unsurprisingly feisty derby between two sides with a bit of history looking for a first win of the season.
Arundel were knocked out of the FA Cup by Pagham and lost 3-0 at Mill Road to Hassocks in their SCFL premier league opener and with Chi still smarting from a cup exit at the hands of Binfield and a league loss away at Broadbridge Heath there was an extra edge to the game.
In the early passages of play Dan Hegarty's knock-on almost got Jones in and at the other end Dion Jarvis just dragged a shot wide of Ant Ender's upright.
Then Clack opened the scoring eleven minutes in following a mazy signature run that left a trail of defenders in his wake after a superb tackle from fullback Dan Watts sent him on his way.
Two minutes later Clack was terrorising defenders again but this time Arundel managed to clear their lines.
Next Herbert had an effort blocked following an impressive exchange between Watts and Jones.
Eli Amoo's deft touch and turn before drilling the ball into the bottom right hand corner got the visitors back into the game in the 18th minute.
And Amoo was also involved in Arundel's second a couple of minutes later when he cued Scott Tipper up for a tap-in after good work from Lee Mottershead.
Kieran Hartley then fired over on 23 minutes before a delicate lob by Jones almost caught out Stuart McDonald.
City should have been level through Herbert but his effort, a cracking shot that went in and came back off the stanchion, was ruled out.
Then Tipper headed over after Mottershead carved out some space in midfield before Jarvis tried his luck from distance.
The home side equalised in the 38th minute when Clack's perseverance paid off. The winger rode a challenge or two and then, with Arundel struggling to clear, the ball popped up for Jones to poach from close range.
Chances came and went for Herbert, Hartley and Jones as half-time approached and Tipper got on the end of an Amoo pass but his shot was cut out.
Miles Rutherford's side went ahead soon after the break. Hartley's pinpoint pass found Jones in the box for a crisp finish and his third goal in three games as City started to get on top.
With Lorenzo Dolcetti orchestrating things in this spell Herbert almost pulled off an audacious chip from an awkward angle, quickly followed by a sharp header from Jones that was just off target and a drive from George Way that flew narrowly wide.
Herbert, who has impressed in pre-season, made it 4-2. Clack picked him out and a nice piece of control enabled the City No.10 to spin and get off a shot that McDonald couldn't get to.
Dolcetti next tested McDonald with a couple of efforts before the Arundel keeper's reaction save fell unkindly to Jones who couldn't keep his attempt down.
McDonald's counterpart then tipped a shot from Mottershead round his post as the visitors sought to get back in the match.
With tempers fraying the game's flashpoint in the 70th minute resulted in a second yellow card for Scott Towers.
Down to ten men Arundel conceded a fifth when Clack gratefully latched onto a neat back-heel from Jones.
"It was an important win for us that means we can put the last two games behind us. We've got a run of games now in quick succession where we hope we can put in performances like we did tonight" said Danny Potter afterwards.
Oddly, in a quirk of fixture-fate, the two sides will meet again this Saturday in the SCFA RUR Charity Cup at Mill Road (3pm kick off).
City – Ender, Watts, Martin (Williams), French, Hartley, Hegarty, Clack, Way (Thoms), Dolcetti, Herbert (Kanjanda), Jones