GALLERY: Chichester denied by Eastbourne – and a fire

  • Hartley hares in to save City
  • Fire sparks cup semi postponement
  • Frustration for Selsey and Pagham

Chichester City were held at home by Eastbourne Town - then saw their cup semi-final abandoned because of a fire and darkness.

Selsey lost to Littlehampton, while Pagham could get three points for an East Preston no-show.

Chichester City 1 Eastbourne Town 1

Sussex League division one

CHICHESTER gained a creditable 1-1 draw at home to Eastbourne Town (see gallery above) after a difficult opening 20 minutes.

The luckless Lewis Edwards, having already missed most of the season through injury, was carried off after just ten minutes and replaced by Kieran Hartley.

Michael Frangou, Josh Case and Daren Pearce in action for City against Eastbourne  Picture by Louise Adams

Michael Frangou, Josh Case and Daren Pearce in action for City against Eastbourne Picture by Louise Adams

And shortly afterwards, Eastbourne took the lead when Dominic Clarke found an opening and headed the ball in off the post.

It was clear there were going to be few goalscoring opportunities, with both sets of defences heavily armoured for a contest that was mainly fought in midfield.

Chichester missed two clear-cut chances, one in each half, with Michael Frangou shooting just wide on 42 minutes after a long ball was pumped into the goalmouth.

But an equalising goal came in the 52nd minute when a low cross found Hartley, who clipped a 20-yarder past keeper Greg Nessling to make it 1-1.

CITY: Ender, Williams, Bingham, Pearce, Hegarty, Cody, Case, Edwards, Clack, Frangou, Ansa. Subs: Hartley, Wild.

Chichester City 0 Newhaven 1 (abandoned, 53 mins)

Peter Bentley Cup semi-final

Chichester’s cup semi-final against Newhaven was abandoned in the 53rd minute with City trailing 1-0.

A fire in the changing-room block meant the floodlights had to be hurriedly switched off for safety reasons and the referee’s decision to instantly abandon the game led to a furious reaction from the Newhaven players.

Spectators lingered in the hope of a resumption, but with Shoreham’s Middle Road ground in darkness it became evident there would be no more action.

It was something of a reprieve for City, who had been under pressure for most of the first half.

A stray clearance from Anthony Ender on ten minutes was pounced on by Callum Connor, but the Dockers’ striker hit the ball wide.

Newhaven were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, but Adam Kneller’s effort was spectacularly tipped away by Ender for a corner.

City’s best chance came on 32 minutes when a stinger from Frazer Smith was fumbled by keeper Jake Buss, who collected the ball in the nick of time before Jimmy Wild could reach it.

A couple of minutes before the break, Ender crashed into Connor when the pair both went for a high ball into the goalmouth and the referee pointed the spot. Ryan Walton struck the resulting kick straight down the middle to make it 1-0.

But eight minutes into the second half, it was called off and a further attempt will be made to play the tie on a date to be announced.

CITY: Ender, Williams, Eyres, Pearce, Cody, Hegarty, Hartley, Case, Wild, Smith, Ansa.

City host Broadbridge Heath on Saturday.

Selsey 1 Littlehampton 4

Division one

LITTLEHAMPTON moved back to the top of the league with victory at Selsey.

Goals from Dave Herbert, George Landais, Shay Wiggans and Ross McKay ensured three points.

There was little in the way of goalmouth action in the first half but Herbert fired the visitors in front two minutes after the break when he latched on to a Kieron Pamment cross.

Selsey’s response was almost immediate and a defensive mix-up allowed Tony Lempriere to net.

The Golds retook the lead when George Landais fired in his 35th goal of the campaign from just outside the box.

Wiggans made it 3-1 when he received the ball in his own half, beat four Selsey players and slotted in.

McKay rounded it off with a header 18 minutes from time.

Selsey visit Loxwood on Saturday.

Pagham v East Preston

The Lions are waiting to see if they will be handed three points after East Preston failed to raise a team for Saturday’s visit to Nyetimber Lane. It is the second time this season EP have had to pull out of a game.

Pagham will hope Lancing turn up for this Saturday’s scheduled game at Nyetimber Lane (and in fairness there’s no reason why they shouldn’t).