Chichester show they're serious about Sussex League title bid
Chichester City showed their Sussex League division-one title credentials as a 2-0 home win against Crowborough Athletic saw them move fifth in the table '“ and level on points with the two sides above them.
Goals from Michael Turvey and Ben Vassallo in each half sealed a poor day at Oaklands Way for the travelling side, who started the day level with Chichester.
Boss Adie Girdler fired a warning to the Lillywhites’ rivals by saying his side are yet to reach their peak.
He said: “It was a very good result. We keep winning without playing to our best, which is pleasing.
“We’re not playing as well as we should be, we’re not knocking it about like we can do – but we’ve won the game without being at our best and keep grinding out results.”
Chichester’s fifth consecutive home win was one of only four games to survive the weather conditions on Saturday, with Girdler describing the pitch as ‘perfect’ with ‘no troubles at all’.
The game saw more youngsters from the club’s youth team step up and impress, as has been the trend in recent weeks, and they earned the manager’s praise with their performances.
Girdler said: “I played the young lad Timmy Harruna at right-back. He is 18 years old and he did really well.
“Luke Killner again came on and acquitted himself well, so with the senior players in the side playing well it’s really encouraging.”
Now fifth in the table, Chichester are level on points with Hassocks in fourth and Pagham in third, but have a game in hand over their local rivals.
“Well it can all change because there’s a long way to go – we’re relying on them to drop some points themselves over the coming months, which is possible obviously because they have to play each other and play us again.
“It could turn into an interesting end to the season so we just have to make sure we keep ourselves in the right place.”
Harruna and youth-team member Connor Cody both made their full debuts in defence.
It wasn’t until three minutes before the interval that the deadlock was broken, Joe Briggs being fouled for a soft penalty that was converted by Turvey.
Ten minutes into the second-half Turvey missed a sitter from close range.
On 61 minutes a Crowborough free-kick led to a close shave when Jack Turner attempted an overhead strike at goal and, with their confidence growing, the visitors enjoyed a dominant spellk.
But having soaked up the pressure, City secured the points with five minutes remaining. A long ball through the middle found Ben Vassallo, who outsprinted his markers and chipped keeper Ben Head to make it 2-0.
Girdler’s men have now lost only one of their last nine league matches.
CITY: Hitchman, Harruna, Doran, Cody, Wallis, Searle, Briggs, Cutler, Turvey, Vassallo, Ford. Subs: Killner, Alex Brockway, Missick.
* Chichester City reserves ran riot at Bosham, clocking up an 8-1 success. Michael Long hit a hat-trick, as did under-18 player Aran McCarthy. Jarred Partridge and Matt Docherty claimed the other two.
MARK ALLAWAY & CHESTER BROWTON