Chichester City striker Scott Jones can’t stop scoring.
His tally is six in the past three games after his double helped Chichester pick up their first SCFL premier division away win with a 4-2 triumph at East Preston.
It leaves Miles Rutherford’s side just a point behind table-toppers Saltdean.
Dan Hegarty and Josh Clack were also on target in the second half.
The visitors started strongly, with both Clack and Lorenzo Dolcetti going close in the opening stages.
East Preston’s goalie Chris Cook did well to get down to a shot in the sixth minute and, after some clever play from Dolcetti, a smart ball picked out Hegarty, who fired just over the crossbar. Jones squandered a great chance after an intelligent pass from George Way.
On 17 minutes Lukas Franzen-Jones stung the palms of Ant Ender from a well-struck free-kick that the Chi keeper turned round the post.
At the other end Cook pulled off a reaction save – but he could do nothing with Jones’ bullet header at the back stick that broke the deadlock just before the half-hour following a great cross from Dave Herbert.
Minutes later Chichester almost doubled their lead when centre halves Ellis Martin and Jack Lee combined. Martin’s pinpoint delivery set up Jack Lee for an angled header that came back off the upright.
Another ball from Martin created a golden opportunity for Hegarty to get on the scoresheet, however his effort was too high.
On the stroke of half-time Dan Huet equalised for the hosts against the run of play after good work from Nathan Da Costa got him in one-on-one with Ender.
Hegarty put City 2-1 up moments after the restart with a rocket.
Heavy hail showers came and went, as did chances for both sides.
Jones was just off target a couple of times, Huets brought a fine stop out of Ender low down to his right and Hayden Hunter, arguably East Preston’s stand-out player, curled an effort narrowly wide.
Clack increased City’s lead, tucking the ball into the corner after a few twists and turns for his sixth goal of the season.
EP got a lifeline with 18 minutes to go when Da Costa’s effort deflected past a helpless Ender. But in-form Jones put the game to bed with another header at the back post after quality play on the wing by Tafadzwa Kanjanda.
Chi boss Rutherford said: “It was the first game we worked hard in for 90 minutes and we got the result. Hopefully we can keep the same sort of attitude in the upcoming games.”
City visit Worthing United on Saturday.
Chichester: Ender, Watts, Lee, Martin, Hartley, Hegarty, Way, Dolcetti, Clack, Herbert, Jones. Subs: Hutchings, Williams, Kanjanda, French, Peake.