Second Half Hat-trick Rescues City
Chichester City 5-3 Worthing United
Scott Jones in action against Worthing United last season
(Picture: Tommy McMillan)
A second half hat-trick from Scott Jones helped rescue City after trailing 3-1 to United at the break in this Southern Combination premier league match at Oaklands Park.
The visitors went ahead in the 7th minute when Jahobi Maher, barely ten yards inside the opposition half, spotted Ant Ender off his line and caught the City keeper out with an audacious lob to mark his debut.
Before this, Rob Hutchings was just unable to get on the end of passes from Josh Clack and George Way.
Then straight from the kick off after the Worthing opener, Chi's player of the month for August Dave Herbert broke through, brushing off challenges, only to have his shot blocked.
Next Dan Hegarty went close with a couple of headers.
At the other end Paul Elliott brought a save out of Ender from a free-kick after his teammate Matt Hards was clipped.
Hutchings got Chichester back into it on 24 minutes with a composed finished, latching on to a long ball that caught everybody else out.
Clack's mazy run into the box on the half an hour mark ended up in a bit of handbags when the Chi winger went down under a strong challenge.
Then less than a minute later United were 2-1 up thanks to Hards who tucked the ball away to Ender's left.
The Mavericks could have gone further ahead when Leon Moore was bundled over in the penalty area but Maher crashed his spot-kick against the bar.
City next broke away and a chest bursting run from Herbert got him one on one with Rui Buckland who, rushing off his line, got things right and steered the ball away for a corner that came to nothing.
Miles Rutherford's side pressed for an equaliser but it was Worthing who scored on the stroke of half time when Maher made amends for his penalty miss pouncing on a rebound off a shot from Elliott following an under-hit back pass.
Rutherford sent Jones on at the interval to play up top with Herbert.
And what a difference he made, turning things round for his team with a classy hat-trick in the space of twenty minutes or so.
Jones' first was a header two minutes in after Hegarty and Clack linked up effectively.
Sixty seconds later a super pass from Kieran Hartley picked out Clack but his shot went into the side netting.
Then Clack hit the woodwork twice inside a minute. City's top scorer wasn't having much luck.
Hutchings sent regular crosses in for Herbert, Jack Lee headed narrowly over the bar from a corner and Jones might have scored on the hour but for Buckland.
Clack set up Jones for the equaliser in the 62nd minute after a nice pass from Harry Williams before Herbert missed a golden opportunity to put the home side in front.
They did go ahead however on 70 minutes through Jones after a nice exchange between the two City strikers.
Chances fell to both forwards in a crazy five minute spell before Herbert thumped in a worldie to make it 5-3.
If Chi had been lacklustre in the first half, they were dominant in the second.
Jones might have even had a fourth goal after beating the offside trap and rounding the keeper but he hit the upright.
Then Jones almost scored again with a cheeky backheel following a cross from Tafadzwa Kanjanda, who had replaced Hutchings.
And there was still time for other opportunities when Jones was denied by a great reflex save by Buckland before heading over a cross with the last action of a roller-coaster game.
The two halves in some ways illustrated the month of mixed fortunes it's been for Chichester.
The odd rumour or two; an odd comment in the matchday programme; and a few tweets here and there set things off off the pitch. One point on Twitter about Worthing having Chi on the ropes at half time rang true especially. That the home side found a way to get out of this tight corner says a lot about the character of the players.
And it's on the pitch that Chichester will have to do their best talking.
Looking back on the game in particular and the way things have gone so far this season in general, Rutherford said, “The players all need to be willing to play for 90 minutes, not 45 minutes. I've got 8 or 9 players that have not played consistently.
“We left Scott Jones out today but the attitude he showed when he came on in the second half is the attitude we're expecting from everyone.
“To be honest, we've underachieved this first month and we're not where we should be at this point.
“Our FA Cup loss in the opening match was disappointing and we've played poorly at times in August losing two league games on the road.
“We're doing alright at home but we've got to play well consistently both home and way. I'm confident we'll turn it round.”
That's nineteen goals now in four games at Oaklands Park. The win moved Chi up to third in the league.
Rutherford's side are away to Crawley Down Gatwick on Tuesday 5th September (kick off, 7:45pm)
City – Ender, Watts (Williams), Lee, French, Martin (Jones), Hutchings (Kanjanda), Hartley, Way, Hegarty, Clack, Herbert,
Worthing United – Buckland, Patching, Griffiths, Fuller (Miller), Chellel, Stideford (Davidson), Moore (Shuga'a)), Sparks, Elliott, Maher, Hards