Chi City are top - but boss wants better performances

City players celebrate a goal in the recent 7-0 win over Lingfield / Picture by Kate Shemilt
City players celebrate a goal in the recent 7-0 win over Lingfield / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Chichester City manager Miles Rutherford reflected on another win that maintained their top placing in the Southern Combination but said: We can do better.

Rutherford’s side lead the premier division after winning 1-0 at AFC Uckfield Town on Saturday. Ellis Martin scored the winner in added time in the first half.

They are one point above second-placed Horsham YMCA, but they have a game in hand.

Rutherford was happy with the away victory, but said the performance wasn’t good enough.

He told us: “It was a great result for us, but to be fair to Uckfield, they were the better team on the day. We were poor on Saturday, and we weren’t great against Eastbourne Town the week before, and just scraped through against Pagham as well, and so at the moment, we are not playing that well but we’re getting results.”

Chi have scored the highest number of goals in the league with 35, and have conceded only eight goals, which is the fewest.

They progressed into the next round of the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup last week as they won 6-5 on penalties at Pagham after a 0-0 draw.

They will host Mile Oak in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, November 13.

Meanwhile City will play ninth-tier Windsor at home in the second round of the FA Vase on Saturday week.

Reviewing the start to the season, Rutherford said: “We’re doing well this year. We’re keeping in among everyone, which we’re happy about, but our performances at the moment haven’t been great.

“So if we can turn the results into playing well as well, I think we will be doing exactly what we want. But no-one is complaining.

“There is a lot of improvement to come, but it could go the other way where you start not getting results. Something is not right at the minute but we’re top of the league, and we’re quite happy at the moment.

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“We’re looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing where we end up.”

Chi are currently missing some key players with injuries as they look to carry on their run.

Rutherford added: “We’ve got four of five players out for a good two to three weeks. We went to Uckfield with 12 players plus two to help out, and two that we’ve dragged in. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks, we’ll get a few players back and we’ll go from there.

“We’ve got Dan Hegarty, who has been out for two-three weeks and I think he won’t be available until January. We didn’t have Lorenzo Dolcetti on Saturday, nor George Way.

“All three of those are central midfielders, so it has taken the heart out of the team, so we’re filling in and we’re getting away with it at the minute.”

Chi City entertain sixth-placed Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday as they look to extend their lead at the top.