They're flying! Chichester City notch another vital away win on Guernsey
Chichester City were flying at the weekend - in more ways than one. They flew to Guernsey for the season's most novel away trip - and performed brilliantly to win 3-0 and fly home with the points.
Goals from Kaleem Haitham, Gicu lordache and Josh Clack secured a well deserved three points for Chichester City to keep up their push for a play-off spot.
Coach Danny Potter said: "To go away and beat anybody in this league is pleasing. We didn’t know what exactly we were coming to play against, but the attitude of our lads was brilliant."
In a game dominated by City, lordache and Haitham both had chances in the opening stages but failed to test Guernsey’s shot-stopper Callum Stanton.
Chi keeper Steven Mowthorpe was equal to a Harry Tobin effort, then denied Guernsey’s star man Ross Allen, before Chi countered and lordache was denied by Stanton.
Haitham and Ryan Davidson added to Miles Rutherford’s side's shot count, but neither could find the net as the game went past the half-hour mark.
Allen brought the best out of Mowthorpe in the 35th minute as the keeper produced a fine save with a strong right hand low at his near post.
Matt Axell, who worked tirelessly throughout, found Clack with a tremendous ball over the hosts’ defence, but Clack fluffed the golden chance to open the scoresheet, mis-hitting a shot wide when it looked like he should have lobbed the outcoming Stanton.
The deadlock was broken moments before the break when Haitham raced on to a loose ball and coolly slotted the ball past Stanton to give City the deserved lead at the break.
Guernsey came out hungry and the islanders’ captain, Jamie Dodd, had a chance to level but his close-range effort was blocked through a mix of Mowthorpe and Ben Pashley.
Chi doubled their lead in the 52nd minute as lordache nipped in and stole the ball from a loose pass by a defender, took a couple of touches and blasted an early shot into the top corner, to the joy of the fans who crossed the channel to Guernsey.
Robbie Legg should have scored for the islanders’ moments later but saw his volley fly over the bar, as the hosts struggled to show any true signs of getting back into the game.
Lloyd Rowlatt, who has been a brilliant addition to the Chichester City squad this season, found his midfield partner in Axell, who put a rocket wide.
Clack and Axell both had chances to grab a third, but Stanton stopped the winger before Axell fluffed a chance when five yards out.
City did get their third and put the game to bed as Clack and lordache played a neat one two, before Clack stabbed the ball past Stanton to top off what was a fantastic day off the mainland.
The Chi team flew home later on Saturday before Storm Ciara arrived but some club officials and fans were given a longer stay on the island than planned when their scheduled Sunday flight home was cancelled because of the high winds.
Potter added: "The momentum of positive results will keep the boys going physically in this busy period. Two big results in a row will help us push on for Tuesday's match against Haywards Heath."
Captain Connor Cody added: "The performance was the most pleasing thing about today. The front four were brilliant and started the press which was key to how we played today as a team.
"We have to continue to put in the performances and make a name for ourselves in this league. We can even start to think about getting into the play-offs, but before the season started our aim was to stay up so we have more than surpassed that."
City travel to Haywards Heath on Tuesday evening.
Chi City: Mowthorpe, Davidson, Pashley, Axell, Cody, Heath, Clack, Horncastle, Iordache, Rowlatt. Subs: Haitham, Dunn, Hutchings, Jones, Peake, Biggs.