League Leaders Chichester Go Six Points Clear

League Leaders Chichester Go Six Points Clear

By Ian Worden
18 February
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Crawley Down Gatwick 1-5 Chichester City

Josh Clack in action against CDG (Picture: Chris Gregory SCFL)

Chichester City moved six points clear at the top of the SCFL premier division after they won at Crawley Down Gatwick and second place Newhaven suffered a home defeat to Hassocks.

There were changes to the City side that drew at Peacehaven last time out. Back into the starting XI came keeper Ryan Young, midfielder Lorenzo Dolcetti and striker Scott Jones. Terrell Lewis was given a start at right back and Ryan Peake switched inside to partner captain Connor Cody in the heart of the defence in place of suspended Ben Pashley.

It was end to end stuff from the off on a slick surface.

Referee Daniel D’Urso waved away appeals from home players for a penalty after four minutes when a shot from Michael Belli was diverted for a corner, off an arm according to some.

A lovely Chi move resulted in a foul on Dave Herbert on the edge of the box but Dolcetti’s free kick fizzed wide.

Ollie Broad then got a shot off in the 11th minute after he cut inside before Belli’s cross from the left was just too deep for Oli Leslie.

The best chance of the opening spell fell to Herbert when he got through one on one with Anvils stopper Andy Greaves after Jones glanced the ball on.

Greaves then punched a Clack cross clear at an awkward height for Herbert to make a connection.

A half chance came CDG’s way moments later but Young beat Broad to Leslie’s knock down easily enough.

Jones gave Chi the lead with a super flick on Haitham’s cross in the 24th minute.

Haitham was then instrumental in the second goal three minutes later when he got a strong header on another delivery from Clack that bounced down and over the line off a hapless Greaves.

A couple of flowing moves set up opportunities for Jones and Clack and for CDG Marc Pelling met a free kick with a downwards header that didn’t really trouble Young.

Another ‘H attack’ involving Rob Hutchings and Haitham presented Herbert with a tricky shot on the swivel before Clack fired an effort into Greaves’ midriff on the stroke of half time.

Dolcetti put Chichester 3-0 up with a worldie top bins finish ten minutes after the restart.

Jones then almost profited from a mistake at the back but his attempt drifted wide of the left hand post.

Herbert went close as well just after the hour following a neat exchange between Lewis and Clack.

And it was Clack who made it 4-0 when he converted from the penalty spot following a foul on Jones - his fifth goal since the new year.

The hosts pulled one back with ten minutes to go as Harry Petty tucked in Leslie’s pass at close range.

Matt Axell, who scored in the 3-0 win at Oaklands Park in the reverse fixture, finished things off in the 87th minute after great work from Jones.

Chi travel to Steyning on Tuesday night for the Peter Bentley Cup semi final with Saltdean (7:30 Kick Off) and then play Uckfield at home on Saturday (Kick Off 3pm)

Chichester - Young, Lewis, Hutchings, Axell, Cody, Peake, Clack, Dolcetti, Jones, Herbert, Haitham. Subs: Biggs, Williams, Dunn, Way, Ndlovu

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