This season’s Sussex Cup final was a repeat of last year’s with Chichester visiting Lewes - and Chichester were victorious again.
The teams went into the final with mixed fortunes, Lewes narrowly missing out on promotion and Chichester finishing in mid-table after a inconsistent campaign.
The opening exchanges were cagey but Chichester were first to make an impression.
After patient play and ball retention Chichester found space down the right.
Connor McLaughlin beat a player and passed across the D to Richard Blakesley to slot home at the back post.
Chichester rose in stature and started to dominate, helped by Lewes creating very little going forward.
The second half continued with Chichester dominating and this pressure was converted into a 2-0 lead through a great team goal.
After 15 passes, the ball fell loose to Neil Pendle in the D and he mis-hit the ball but saw it fly into the bottom corner.
Matt Cox, Blakesley, Pendle and McLaughlin dominated midfield which gave Chichester control – although few chances were created.
Chichester expected Lewes to come out of their shell, but they never looked like getting back into the game. One negative for Chichester was an unfortunate injury to McLaughlin, who tripped and injured his calf and was carried from the field.
So Chichester won the Sussex Cup for the second consecutive season and captain Steven Spear lifted the trophy and a battered Matt Cox picked up a well-deserved man-of-the-match award.
This was a fitting final hurrah for Chichester coach Olly Lane-Smith, who has led Chichester for three years and rebuilt a promising squad.
The reins are passed on to player-coach Jason Collins, who will lead the team into next season.