Away Win Moves Chi Up To Second
East Preston 2-4 Chichester City
Scott Jones in action earlier in the season (Picture: Tommy McMillan)
Reporter: Dan Andrade
City striker Scott Jones can't stop scoring at the moment. He's bagged six now in the last three games. And a double from the Chi No9 helped his teammates pick up their first SCFL premier division away win to send Miles Rutherford's side one point behind table-toppers Saltdean. Dan Hegarty and Josh Clack were also on target in the second half of a barn burner at East Preston.
City started strong, with both Clack and Lorenzo Dolcetti coming close in the opening stages.
East Preston's goalie Chris Cook did well to get down to a shot in the sixth minute and after some clever play from Dolcetti a smart ball picked out Hegarty, who having beaten a defender, fired just over the crossbar.
Next, Jones squandered a great chance after an intelligent pass from George Way.
On 17 minutes Lukas Franzen-Jones stung the palms of Ant Ender from a well struck free kick that the Chi keeper turned round the post.
At the other end Cook pulled off a reaction save but he could do nothing with Jones' bullet header at the back stick that broke the deadlock just before the half hour following a great cross from Dave Herbert.
And minutes later Chichester almost doubled their lead when centre halves Ellis Martin and Jack Lee combined. Martin's pinpoint delivery set up Jack Lee for an angled header that came back off the upright.
Another ball from Martin created a golden opportunity for Hegarty to get on the scoresheet, however his effort was too high.
Then on the stroke of half time Dan Huet equalised for the hosts against the run of play with a cool finish, after good work from Nathan Da Costa got him in one-on-one with Ender.
Hegarty put City 2-1 up moments after the restart with a rocket.
Heavy hail showers came and went, as did chances for both sides.
Jones was just off target a couple of times, Dan Huets brought a fine stop out of Ender low down to his right and Hayden Hunter, arguably East Preston's stand-out player, curled an effort narrowly wide.
It was Clack though who increased City's lead, tucking the ball into the corner after a few twists and turns, for his sixth goal of the season.
The visitors pressed for another but EP hung on and got a lifeline with eighteen minutes to go when Da Costa’s effort deflected past a helpless Ender.
But it was City’s in-form forward Jones who put the game to bed with yet another header at the back post, after quality play on the wing by Tafadzwa Kanjanda.
Chi boss Rutherford said, “It was the first game we worked hard for 90 minutes and we got the result. Hopefully we can keep the same sort of attitude in the upcoming games.”
City are away to Worthing United on Saturday (3pm Kick Off).
Chichester – Ender, Watts, Lee, Martin, Hartley, Hegarty, Way, Dolcetti, Clack, Herbert, Jones (Subs: Hutchings, Williams, Kanjanda, French, Peake)
East Preston – Cook, Josh Parazo, Jacob Parazo, Da Costa, Stevenson, Etherington, Heryet, Barnes, Huet, Franzen-Jones, Hunter (Subs: Purkis, Gilbertson, Hallett, Bull, Brodie)