Chichester City gain first win since November as they put three past VCD
Chichester bounced back to winning ways thanks to first half goals from Kaleem Haitham and Gicu Iordache and a super Josh Clack finish 11 minutes from time.
It was Chi’s first win since November when the Oaklands Park outfit beat another south east London team Phoenix Sports, a club a stone’s throw away from VCD Athletic.
Miles Rutherford & Co made three changes to the side that lost to Faversham. Ben Pashley started alongside captain Connor Cody at the back for the first time since returning to the club, Rory Biggs featured in central midfield and Haitham joined Clack and Iordache in a pacy forward line.
The hosts came into this midweek encounter on the back of a win on the road against Ramsgate that snapped a run of three defeats.
Haitham got Chi off to a dream start with a goal in the first five minutes when he controlled a Clack cross from the right with a brilliant first touch and tucked the ball past Vickers keeper Matt Funnell.
The visitors might have taken the lead before that when with barely 60 seconds on the clock Iordache latched on to a mistake, skipped past a player and forced Funnell into a smart stop.
VCD threatened straight from the restart as Alex Gaggin and top marksman Charlie MacDonald linked up. The away team countered though with Lloyd Rowlatt picking out Clack with an intelligent pass. The No7 tried to lob the keeper but this time his effort went just over.
Cody made a mistake but Steve Mowthorpe reacted quickly and cleared the danger. Ryan Davidson sent Chi on the attack once more and an exchange between him and Clack set up another chance for Haitham but the Vickers defender recovered well.
Funnell punched Rowlatt’s corner away and MacDonald almost got in down the other end after good work from Courtney Barrington. Biggs, who put in a real shift, had the ball in the back of the net on 20 minutes but he’d strayed offside. And the midfielder had another opportunity moments later but couldn’t keep his shot down.
Pashley cut out a ball intended for MacDonald before Dominic Odusanya tried his luck from distance after neat passes between MacDonald and Alastair Gordon. Chi’s second goal came following a free-kick in the 35th minute. It was an odd decision to be fair and one of several that incensed the Vickers dugout. Cody had a go first, the hosts half cleared but Iordache lashed the loose ball in past a despairing Funnell.
Vickers might have replied immediately by MacDonald’s shot on the turn was always rising. An excellent Biggs pass just before the interval sent Iordache on his way but the Romanian fired over.
Opportunities were scarce in the opening 20 minutes or so of the second half. Cody charged down an effort by Ayman El-Mogharbel; great skill from Odusanya allowed him to jink past two Chi players before fizzing an attempt over Mowthorpe’s crossbar; and Davidson got in a couple of fine tackles to break up raids down the left wing.
Cody combined nicely with Iordache on 67 minutes only for Haitham to shoot off target before the hosts brought on three subs in quick succession. Vickers cranked it up looking to get back in the game and Mowthorpe had work to do as the home side forced a couple of corners.
Clack gave the visitors a bit of breathing space with just over ten minutes to go after a period of pressure when he shrugged off a challenge bursting through the hosts’ back-line and lofted the ball over Funnell for his seventh goal of the season.
Chi have conceded late goals recently but were in no mood for charity. Mowthorpe got down low to parry an effort from sub George Monger, then Jack Steventon wasn’t far away with a header that Mowthorpe probably had covered anyway. Biggs had a shot blocked after a slick move involving Davidson and Haitham.
Rutherford rang the changes bringing on George Cody, Theo Bennetts and Ryan Peake for Iordache, Biggs and Pashley.
There was a Vickers chance in the three additional minutes but Chi kept on to the their clean sheet to record a first win in seven in all competitions.
Chichester welcome VCD Athletic to Oaklands Park later in the month in a sequence of four home league games but before that they host Whitstable Town this Saturday, January 11 (3pm)
Chichester – Mowthopre, Davidson, Hutchings, Biggs, C Cody, Pashley, Clack, Horncastle, Haitham, Rowlatt, Iordache. Subs: Heath, Peake, G Cody, Bennetts.