City win at Eastbourne but Dockers leave them all at sea

Chi City boss Miles Rutherford / Picture by Chris Hatton
Chi City boss Miles Rutherford / Picture by Chris Hatton

It was another mixed week for Chichester City with a win on the road but a defeat at home.

Here are the details - and don’t miss the Chichester Observer every Thursday for all the local football news.

Eastbourne United 1 Chichester City 2

SCFL premier

Goals late in each half by Kaleem Haitham and Scott Murfin earned City their second win in a week.

Chichester were good value for the victory although were made to sweat when Dean Stewart-Hunter got one back for the hosts seven minutes from time.

Chichester City 0 Newhaven 2

SCFL premier

Lee Robinson hurt Chichester for the second time this season with two second-half goals that condemned them to their third home defeat in six.

Robinson, the SCFL premier-division leading scorer with 44 goals this season, had bagged a hat-trick in the reverse fixture when Newhaven won 3-2.

City were a little flat and the visitors might have gone ahead in the second minute when Ellis Martin gave his keeper something to think about with a lob that Ant Ender just managed to head away from Robinson.

The Chi shot-stopper was forced to make a double save as the Dockers pushed for an opener before a fine delivery from the right was headed just over Ender’s bar.

Kaleem Haitham, who’s scored five goals in his past seven games, had the home side’s first effort but fired wide on ten minutes. Dan Hegarty dragged one wide three minutes later before Scott Jones missed a sitter.

Just after the half hour Ender got a strong hand on a fierce drive. Haitham saw a super effort palmed over the crossbar a minute before half-time and Hegarty went close from the corner, stabbing the ball wide from close range.

A fierce shot went narrowly wide for Haven after the break and on 53 minutes Ender was forced to push a low cross away from danger.

A Kieran Hartley special looked to be dipping under the bar but it was tipped away spectacularly for a corner.

Ryan Peake went close for Chi when he got a header on Haitham free-kick on 57 minutes. Next Jones jinked skilfully past a couple of players in the box and his shot almost nicked in off Hegarty but the keeper got his body behind the ball.

Newhaven broke and a neat finish from Robinson put the visitors one up. Another header from Peake from a free-kick almost got Chi back on level terms before a brilliantly timed tackle by Martin prevented Robinson getting in again.

Robinson doubled his side’s lead with a tap-in after he took advantage of a mishap from Ender on 67 minutes.

Newhaven are the first side to do a home and away double over City in the league this season.

League leaders Haywards Heath visit Oaklands Park on Saturday before Chichester face Pagham twice in four days.

Next Wednesday the local rivals meet in the final of the Sussex RUR Cup at Lancing before the final league game of the season at Pagham on Saturday, May 5.

Chi look like finishing fourth at best, although third is not quite entirely out of the question.

Chichester: Ender, Lis, Peake, Lee, Pashley, Hegarty, Haitham, Murfin (Hartley), Haitham, Jones, Hutchings.

IAN WORDEN