Local Southern Combination League teams are building up towards the new campaign by getting stuck into their pre-season friendlies.
Midhurst, Chichester City and Pagham are among sides to enjoy victories early in their programmes.
Latest reports below - and why not tell us how your team are faring in pre-season? Email email@example.com
Worthing United 1
Midhurst & Easeboune 2
After only three training sessions, Midhurst won an early pre-season friendly against Worthing United on the 3G pitch of Worthing Town.
It proved well worthwhile for Midhurst as they gave an excellent performance and won 2-1.
They started the game with some 30 passes before the opposition had a touch of the ball.
Sixteen-year-old youth-team player Jamie Hill started his first game in senior football at left-back and played very well, as did Callum Dowdell who had his first game at right-back. Youth was also in evidence as 18-year -old Ant Kirby played up front alongside the returning evergreen Gary Norgate.
Midhurst took the lead on 35 minutes when, following good work from Lewis Hamilton and Scott Dormer, Norgate was released to blast the ball past the Worthing keeper.
The lead could have been greater – Lawrence Hyde struck the crossbar with a ferocious drive from 25 yards and then Mark Broughton – who is to double up as club chairman – lost his footing from close range following a corner.
Worthing had their chances but found the defence superbly marshalled by George Morris and backed up by Broughton and Jamie O’Leary.
When they did get through they found goalkeeper Aaron Jeal continuing last season’s form with an impeccable display.
Worthing equalised on 67 minutes when Alfie Gritt’s shot took a slight delection to wrongfoot Jeal.
Oli Lee had a good opportunity to regain the lead when he battled his way clear but was thwarted by an excellent block by Worthing’s keeper. But Midhurst were not to be denied and the winning goal was scored by skipper Dormer; and it was a goal good enough to win any game.
He won the ball just outside the box and with his first touch sent the ball over the stranded keeper and into the top corner.
Midhurst are on the road for more pre-season games now. Next Tuesday sees them face Liphook at Rogate’s ground (6.30pm).
The following evening, they play The Army at Thorney Island (7.30pm).
On Tuesday 26 they’re at Clanfield (7pm), Saturday 30 at Sidlesham (3pm), Wednesday, August 3, Lancing (8pm) and Saturday 6 a double header at Roffey (2pm and 4pm).
Chichester City 2 Salisbury 2
Chichester City turned in a fine display to push Steve Claridge’s Salisbury all the way.
A goal by Dan Hegarty put Miles Rutherford’s team 1-0 up at half-time but Salisbury hit back to lead through Eddie Perrett and Steve Walker.
Jimmy Wild salvaged a draw for City nine minutes from the end.
Chichester are in action again tonight when they face Guildford at Bisley. They host Bognor next Monday.
* Pagham got their pre-season programme off to a great start with a 3-2 win away to Newport on the Isle of Wight.
In a double header, the Lions’ reserves beat their Newport counterparts 3-1.
Pagham make their home bow this Saturday when Fareham Town visit.
Selsey face Wick this Saturday as they work towards a new campaign.
Bosham lost 4-1 at Baffins Milton Rovers in their opening friendly.
The Robins visit Clanfield next Thursday.
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