Chi Top Of The League After Good Away Win
Littlehampton Town 0-3 Chichester City
City's Top Scorer Scott Jones (Picture: Tommy McMillan)
A late Ben Pashley goal and a double from Scott Jones against Littlehampton helped send Chichester back to the top of the SCFL pemier division.
It's been a pretty good September for Miles Rutherford's side. After a shaky start to the season Chi have picked up four wins and two draws this month and are now unbeaten in five consecutive away games.
Jones, who has been in red-hot form this autumn scoring twelve goals in the last six matches, had the game's best early chance in the twelfth minute running on to a through ball. Golds keeper Luke Hutchings managed though to steer Jones' effort round for a corner. Skipper Jack Lee headed the resultant corner kick narrowly wide.
Moments later Kieran Hartley, who put in a real shift at left back, picked out Jones' strike partner Dave Herbert with a ball over the top but Herbert was denied by a timely tackle.
David O'Callaghan for Littlehampton fed George Gaskin but Ant Ender got something on his shot. The Chi keeper had been thankful earlier to see Jack Cole's fierce effort fizz over his crossbar as the visitors struggled to settle.
Next Alex Laing could have done better with a free header from a O'Callaghan corner.
A couple of chances fell to Chichester around the twenty minute mark. Tafadzwa Kanjanda, making a well-earned first league start, had a goal-bound effort flicked away and agonisingly on to the upright by a defender and then Lorenzo Dolcetti brought a save out of Hutchings with a nicely struck set-piece.
And Littlehampton might have gone ahead but for an excellent Lee tackle on Laing and an Ender block that prevented the same player getting in barely sixty seconds later.
For Chi, George Way sent an effort over after smart thinking from Dolcetti before turning provider for the opener with a fine delivery that Jones thumped into the back of the net on 36 minutes.
Jones should have had another before the break when he latched on to two separate rebounds off the Littlehampton keeper - the first following up an attempt by Kanjanda, the second blasting over a parried stinging shot from Rob Hutchings.
Ten minutes into the second half Rutherford made a double tactical substitution as Josh Clack and Harry Williams came on in midfield.
And it wasn't long before Clack and full back Dan Watts were linking up and posing threats down the right flank as City pressed to extend their advantage.
In the 58th minute Clack set up Watts but he took too long to shoot, then on 62 a cross from a Watts-Clack interchange wouldn't quite sit up for Jones before the No9 pulled another effort wide after Herbert broke through.
Five minutes or so later Chi did double their lead when super work from Lee sent Clack away and the winger put things on a plate for Jones to tap in.
Clack then wasn't far off with a free-kick, Jones rattled the bar with a powerful header and Dolcetti also troubled Hutchings.
Littlehampton could have got back in the game but Ender smothered an effort from Laing, Hartley nipped in to challenge Shaun Charles and Cole fired over.
Chi sub Pashley made it 3-0 on 86 minutes drifting in at the back post with a cool finish to an impressive move that involved Clack, Watts and Dolcetti.
Jones might have picked up a third hat-trick of the month with the last kick of the game but couldn't keep the ball down.
Still, twelve goals out of the twenty three the side has scored in the league in September is some return for the forward and Chichester will hope to keep their run of form going into next month.
City are away in the SCFA Senior Cup on Tuesday 3rd October at Haywards Heath (7:45pm kick off) and then back to league action when they host Horsham YMCA at Oaklands Park on Saturday 7th October (3pm kick off).
Chichester Team – Ender, Watts, Lee, French, Hartley, Way, Dolcetti, Kanjanda, Hutchings, Herbert, Jones (Subs: Pashley, Williams, Hegarty, Clack)
Littlehampton Town – Hutchings, Wiggans, Chaplin, O'Callaghan, Zydonik, Kempson, Pattenden, Garnham, Gaskin, Laing, Cole (Subs: Playle-Howard, Charles, Bromage, Askew, Tabor)