Saints win a blessing, but EP too strong for Chi

Chichester City v St Francis''C121116-3 Spt Foot Chi Francis  Photo Louise Adams
Chichester City v St Francis''C121116-3 Spt Foot Chi Francis Photo Louise Adams

CHICHESTER recorded their first victory of the season on Saturday, although a large slice of luck was required to dispose of bottom-placed visitors St Francis Rangers.

In a poor-quality game, City had only two attempts at goal all afternoon yet managed to score with both of them.

The Saints dominated early on and Kieran Pamment had a great chance when clean through but Matt Evans pulled off a smart save and the rebound effort was missed.

With half-an-hour gone, Chichester went ahead when Perry Northeast sent in a terrific long-range curling shot that nobody could stop.

St Francis equalised after the interval as Sam Murphy’s corner lead to a bullet header from Daley Clark. Having levelled, there now only seemed to be one team capable of winning, but the attacking Saints were denied a second as a couple of shots hit the crossbar and two more were cleared off the line.

Then, with just five minutes remaining, Chichester were handed the game on a silver platter. Keeper Rob Gordon completely missed the ball while trying to clear, allowing Scott Dormer to tap into the gaping open goal.

There was one last piece of drama during injury-time, with Gordon trying to redeem himself by coming up for a St Francis corner, but once again the ball hit the bar and the luckless keeper scooped the rebound over the top.

Two days later, Chichester faced much sterner opposition in the form of East Preston, who recorded their fifth consecutive league success of the season with a straightforward 3-0 scoreline.

Craig Grantham’s shot from the edge of the penalty area put EP ahead after 11 minutes, and Chichester lived dangerously with Joe Shelley and Matt Axell firing in dangerous efforts.

The second goal came on 34 minutes when Dan Simmonds sent in a corner kick on the left that missed everybody, hit the far post and ending up in the net.

With the writing now on the wall, the second-half was uncompetitive with EP spending most of the time trying to batter through the City defence.

Chichester had an opportunity on 72 minutes when Connor Cody found himself in plenty of space, but former City keeper Anthony Ender made an excellent save.

Simmonds claimed another goal with five minutes remaining to wrap it up for the league leaders.

Chichester v St Francis: Evans, Prior, Cotton, Heath, Boniface, Bradshaw, Northeast, Hagan, Lambert, Dormer, Groom. Subs: Watts, Potter, F Smith.

v EP: Evans, Prior, Cotton, Heath, Boniface, Bradshaw, Northeast, Cody, Dormer, Watts, Lambert. Subs: Groom, Parsons, Potter.