CHICHESTER’s long unbeaten run under manager Miles Rutherford finally came to an end when they were undone by Southern Combination premier-division leaders Lancing 3-1 on Culver Road’s 3G pitch.
In truth, it was a fairly even contest – but the Lancers asserted a spell of dominance during the early part of the second half that yielded two decisive goals to cement their position at the head of the table.
Three first-choice Lancing players had to drop out with injuries sustained during the warm-up and Chichester almost seized an early opportunity when Jimmy Wild’s charge towards goal was indiscreetly halted by onrushing keeper Callum Fidler, who could have been red-carded were it not for two covering defenders.
Lancing took the lead on 16 minutes with Ross Adams laying the ball off to Richard Greenfield who sent a curler into the top corner from the edge of the box.
The scores were level on the half-hour mark when Josh Clack’s corner was met by an unstoppable near-post Dan Hegarty header that gave the Lancing keeper no chance.
City almost struck again on 42 minutes with Clack’s long-range free-kick whizzing narrowly wide of the post.
However, the home side were back in front soon after the break when a long ball took a bounce that deceived the City defence, allowing Adams to slip past Dave Hook and make it 2-1.
A third goal came on 62 minutes when Greenfield’s corner led to Josh Spinks’ header being cleared off the line by a City defender only for Will Berry to smash home the rebound.
And despite Chichester throwing men forward for the remaining part of the match, they could make no real impression, thus leading to their first defeat since October 17.
City have an opportunity for revenge when they play Lancing again in the upcoming semi-final of the RUR Cup, but beforehand they take on Broadbridge Heath this Saturday at Oaklands Park.
CITY: Hook, Williams, Edwards, Horncastle, French, Watts, Clack, Hegarty, Wild, Bush, Hartley. Subs: Ansa, Seiden.
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