Wondergoal by masked man Cody can't save Chichester City
A George Taggart double condemned SCFL premier-division leaders Chichester City to a first home defeat in a thrilling spectacle on Non League Day.
Eastbourne Town came into the game on the back of a dramatic 3-2 win against Broadbridge Heath, but City, on a run of eight wins in nine, started strongly, with Kaleem Haitham putting in a near-perfect ball, only for it to float past Scott Jones.
Jones had the first two efforts of the game, dragging his first shot just wide after a smart pass by MoM Kieran Hartley, before heading just wide from a Lorenzo Dolcetti corner.
Dolcetti went on a mazy run, gliding through the Eastbourne midfield with ease. His fierce drive looked to have been blocked by a visiting defender’s hand but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty.
In the 35th minute, the visitors broke the deadlock with their first attack. Taggart battled his way into a shooting position and smashed the ball into the top corner, giving Jordan Matthews no chance.
Winger Gicu Iordache, who has shone in the past few matches, crashed a stunning free-kick on the stroke of half-time on to the frame of the goal.
City started the second half slowly, allowing Eastbourne attacker Daniel Perry to run through on goal, but he cut back when shooting seemed smarter.
There was a scramble in the box, with Terrell Lewis heading the ball off the line to prevent a second for the visitors.
Substitute Rob Hutchings sparked some life into City’s attack, linking up with Haitham who blazed a shot over the bar.
Jones had further to chances to level but was denied by a top save from Jordan Hawkins and an heroic clearance by a covering defender.
Moments later, Hawkins denied Jones again with an even more impressive save, tipping his header over the crossbar.
Eastbourne went on the counter attack and Taggart bagged his second of the game with another long-range effort, which slid under Matthews.
Connor Cody, wearing a face mask after breaking his nose in the match with Little Common, did pull one back with an unbelievable overhead kick, giving the home fans hope with five minutes to go.
City pushed on and Hutchings, Jones and Cody all had chances to equalise but a sturdy Eastbourne defence held on.Chi travel to AFC Uckfield Town on Saturday.
Chichester: Matthews, Lewis, Hartley, Dolcetti, Cody, Pashley, Haitham, Axell, Jones, D Herbert, Iordache. Subs: Andrade, Martin, Hutchings, S Herbert, Ndlovu.