Chichester City, Sidlesham and Midhurst off to winning pre-season starts

Chi City's management team discuss plans at pre-season training / Picture by Neil Holmes
Chi City's management team discuss plans at pre-season training / Picture by Neil Holmes

Our local football teams have swung into pre-season friendly action - and although some have fared better than others results-wise, no-one will be too worried about losing a game in the fist week of July.

Chichester City, newly promoted to the Isthmian League south-east division, got their build-up off to a winning start on the Isle of Wight. They beat an IoW rep side 2-0 with goals from former Pagham and Lewes forward Callum Overton and University of Chichester student Lukas Jones.

City next go to Arundel this Saturday, when Pagham play their first friendly at Hamble.

Selsey, who will again be in division one of the SCFL this season, hosted Wessex League high flyers Hordean at the High Street Ground and lost 4-0, but bosses said it was a great run-out for their young team on a pitch beautifully prepared by groundsman Paul Lee.

The Blues host Worthing on Saturday and AFC Portchester next Tuesday.

Sidlesham, also of SCFL division one, started their pre-season programme at home to division-two outfit Bosham and ran out comfortable 4-2 winners with two goals from Ryan Chittock and one each from Simon Whall and Josh Butress.

The home side were missing several regulars so the game gave opportunities for reserve players to stake a claim for first-team football. Sids welcomed Tom Bayley and Tom Jefkins back to the club and handed new signing Tommy Harding a debut.

Apart from a spell straight after half-time when Sids conceded two goals in five minutes, the home side controlled the game. Ryan Chittock in particular stood out in the centre of the park but manager Steve Bailey was pleased with the group in general.

Off the pitch things are progressing nicely, the committee are pushing ahead with plans to smarten up the clubhouse and surrounding area.

With regards to the search for a new manager, no decision has been reached.

Bailey, who has taken over as chairman, said: “If the right person comes along who can commit to the club both on and off the pitch I will step down, but until then I will continue assisted by Alfie Bunker, Simon Whall and Shane Brayson.”

Midhurst, another local side who will play in SCFL division one, kicked off with a 3-1 win away to Hampshire team Whitchurch.

There were debut goals for Matt Rowland and Danny Lane and one for Kieren Carter in a positive display by for the Stags.