Chichester City’s slide continues at Crawley

Chichester City’s poor form continued as leaders Crawley Down ran out 2-0 winners thanks to a Tom Burton double.

After two defeats in a week against Three Bridges and St Francis Rangers, City had hoped to cause an upset and end a terrible run of form.

But goals in the first and last ten minutes sealed an eighth consecutive defeat for Adie Girdler’s side, and he feels the players have suffered greatly for not having trained in more than two months.

He told the Observer: “As a manager it’s frustrating. When we trained on the pitch last Tuesday it was the first time for ten weeks – that’s not helped at all.

“We knew the squad wanted freshening up at Christmas but we couldn’t bring anyone in. It’s no-one’s fault at the club, it’s just the situation we inherited when we took over.”

City are finding it hard on the road, having not won away from Oaklands Park in nine attempts, a worrying fact for Girdler, whose side play five of their last seven away from home.

But with the chance of any silverware long gone, the management have decided to trial players looking ahead to next season.

“We’re looking at throwing in new players for next year. Dave Kelly and I decided to look at new players so we’ve been trying out some kids and new signings,” he said. “Obviously a bit of enthusiasm has gone out the side because we’ve got nowhere to go but mid-table obscurity.

“We’ve had quite a few injuries too. Ben Vassallo (pictured below) has been missing through injury, we’ve had Jamie Ford missing through work commitments, Shawn Benjamin’s been missing over the past couple of weeks through injury, Adrian Brockway is suspended, James Archer’s been missing for four weeks now – the list goes on.

“Obviously we’re not in a position to sign players because the club haven’t got money, so that’s not our way at the moment.”

Now 13th in the table, Chichester will need to add to their two wins this calendar year if they are to avoid flirting with relegation from division one, though they currently enjoy a 13-point gap over the bottom three.

It doesn’t get any easier for Chichester as their next destination is East Grinstead Town, a team who are unbeaten in their last seven games.

MARK ALLAWAY