Chichester City strikers Scott Jones and Dave Herbert both hit hat-tricks in an emphatic 7-1 win at Worthing United that sent Miles Rutherford’s side top of the SCFL premier division.
When the teams met at the beginning of the month at Oaklands Park Jones scored three second-half goals to get his team out of trouble after they’d trailed 3-1 at the break. This time his hat-trick came in the first 45.
The in-form Chi forward bagged his seventh goal in four games after five minutes latching on to a pass from Dan Watts with a deft touch before tucking the ball past the advancing keeper Kieran Sills.
Sills had to have his wits about him moments later to tip Dan Hegarty’s fierce shot over the bar. Jones tried a spectacular overhead from the resulting corner and then set up Rob Hutchings but his drive was deflected.
At the other end City skipper Jack Lee did well to ward off danger posed by Lindon Miller as the hosts pressed and Ant Ender intercepted a cross from Pat Rose intended for Deji Alabi.
The visitors went close through Lorenzo Dolcetti with a long-range effort and Ruben French wasn’t far off when he ghosted in to meet a free-kick.
Jones headed narrowly wide before Sills somehow managed to turn a Dolcetti shot round the post but the City pressure paid off on the half-hour when Jones headed in a corner.
With five minutes to go to half-time the No9 completed the perfect hat-trick with his right foot after Herbert flicked the ball into his path.
Herbert had Chi’s first chance after the interval when he collected a pass from Hutchings only for his attempt to drift wide.
Jones was off-target with another header before having a part in an intricate move involving Watts and Hutchings that was eventually broken up.
Worthing’s Jamie Stideford forced a save out of Ender following a Jahobi Maher corner.
Herbert made it 4-0 on 65 minutes making the most of a mis-hit backpass after Kieran Hartley won a tackle in midfield. Dolcetti drifted past a number of players barely 60 seconds later but there was no real power in his shot.
City subs Tafadszwa Kanjanda and Drew Smith, on for Jones and Hegarty, linked up nicely down the left and Hartley was in the right place at the right time to capitalise on an error by Sills to grab the fifth.
Miller tested Ender on 77 minutes before a quick counter-attack saw Kanjanda win the visitors a penalty that Herbert calmly converted.
Rutherford brought summer signing Ryan Peake on for the last ten and the former Arundel player, in his first appearance after an anterior cruciate ligament injury, was soon in the thick of things.
Herbert’s hat-trick came in the 85th minute with a classy finish after good work by Kanjanda.
Mo Shuga’a caught Ender out with a late consolation goal for the Mavericks.
Chichester coach Danny Potter said: “Full credit to Worthing. There are a lot of young, promising players at this club. They caused us all sorts of problems at our place earlier in September. We knew they had certain threats, so we’ve worked hard in preparation for the match.
“We’re delighted with the result and pleased for Scott Jones and Dave Herbert both getting hat-tricks. We’d like to think we can look exciting going forward on our day. We’ve got games coming thick and fast now and keeping the squad fit and together is what we’re aiming to do now.”
City travel to Littlehampton on Saturday in the league and Haywards Heath next Tuesday in the Sussex Senior Cup.
Chichester: Ender, Watts, Lee, Martin, Hartley, Hegarty, French, Dolcetti, Hutchings, Herbert, Jones. Subs: Kanjanda, Smith, Peake, Way.
Three Bridges 2 Chi City 2
Sure there’s a cavalier ‘we’re gonna score one more than you’ side to Chi, but at other times Miles Rutherford’s team can be dogged and determined, as they were away at Crawley Down Gatwick the other week when they dug in and battled to earn a point with a late goal.
And so it was in this midweek fixture. Another 2-2 draw, another dramatic comeback, another exhibition of tenacity, another Scott Jones goal, another road trip – the fourth in a row with two more to come before a match back at Oaklands Park against Horsham YMCA a week Saturday.
Chichester started with Jones, Dave Herbert and Rob Hutchings up front. Dan Hegarty picked up a knock against Worthing United so George Way, Ruben French and Lorenzo Dolcetti featured in midfield with Dan Watts, Jack Lee, Ellis Martin and Kieran Hartley at the back and Ant Ender in goal.
The visitors’ high pressing game saw the home team on the back foot in the early stages. Chi had a shot blocked after a neat move between Hartley, Jones and Dolcetti. The Italian midfielder then crashed an effort into the side netting.
For the hosts Michael Campbell got on to the end of a cross from the right but flicked the ball high and wide before, some five minutes later, trying his luck from distance.
Connor French came out best in a crunching tackle that set him up for the best chance of the opening passages of play – a fierce drive that was inches wide of Ender’s post.
Campbell next picked out Jensen Grant but he couldn’t direct his header on target.
The ball wouldn’t sit up for French at the other end in a goal-mouth scramble and during a hectic three minute spell around the half hour Ender did well to get a glove to a dangerous corner kick, Jones prodded a header goal-bound and Hartley had to block another effort.
On the stroke of half-time City forged a couple of opportunities when Dave Herbert brought a superb tip-over out of Kieron Thorp from 25 yards before Hutchings’ shot was deflected away in time added on to what was a lively first 45.
Just after the break Jones steered the ball away off the line from a Bridges’ corner.
A minute later though Mitchell Casselman broke the deadlock as Chi struggled to clear their lines from another corner.
Jones, who didn’t miss much in the air, was unfortunate not to get more on the end of free-kicks by first Martin on 52 and then Way on 55 minutes.
Campbell, who had a good evening, pulled an effort wide on the hour.
Then referee Alex Bradley brandished three yellow cards in as many minutes as things heated up. It wouldn’t be the last cards either.
The home side doubled their lead through Campbell in the 72nd minute on a counter attack thanks to the No11’s blistering pace and a nice finish.
Chi got back into the game two minutes later from the penalty spot after a foul on Lee. Martin coolly slotting the ball into the right hand corner.
Jones, who is on a hot streak of ten goals in five games now, made it 2-2 to set up an intense last eight minutes or so.
Suddenly the momentum changed.
French had a chance for City following good work from sub Tafadzwa Kanjanda, Hartley had a go but his shot was always rising, Dolcetti tried a spectacular overhead kick and Jones had a tough angle to deal with following a flick on from Herbert.
To be fair, neither team seemed prepared to settle for a point and Ender made two big claims from set pieces with the clock running down.
Rutherford’s side topped the SCFL premier division coming into this match at Jubilee Field but the point means Peacehaven & Telscombe leapfrog them after a win at Newhaven. With the way the league is going so far, they’ll be plenty of this over the next few weeks, and other teams have games in hand.
Chi: Ender, Watts, Lee, Martin, Hartley, Way, French, Dolcetti, Hutchings, Herbert, Jones (Subs: Kanjanda, Smith, Pashley, Williams, Hegarty).