The University of Chichester men’s football first team overhauled Reading at the top of South Eastern 1A thanks to a convincing 6-1 home win over them.
David Mendes-Borges had the hosts’ first chance after Raphael Santos cut the ball back to him from the byline, while at the other end keeper Ash Downs did well to deny a Reading striker who got through one-on-one.
Santos and Lukas Franzen-Jones weren’t far off with shots before Alfie Lis scored the opener with a neat finish on 25 minutes.
Mendes-Borges hit the post after Lorenzo Dolcetti’s fierce effort was palmed away and doubled the lead moments later turning in Lis’ cross from close range.
Downs pulled off a fine stop on the stroke of half-time but the visitors reduced the arrears in time added on.
Chichester, who lost the reverse fixture 4-0 earlier in the season, needed to win by five goals to edge ahead of Reading on goal difference and signaled their intent straight after the break.
Lis went close and a Dolcetti drive that nicked off a defender almost caught the keeper out. Next Ed Sanders tried his luck from distance before Emmett Dunn fired one narrowly wide after good build-up play.
Sanders made it 3-1, heading in a free-kick from Dolcetti.
Chichester forged other opportunities – Dunn might have done better on 65 minutes and a thunderbolt from Franzen-Jones cannoned back off the bar.
The home side added another two goals in as many minutes when Sanders got the finishing touch on a cross from the left and Lloyd Rowlatt met Franzen-Jones’ precision pass from the other side.
And with practically the last kick of the game Franzen-Jones curled a super set-piece round the wall and into the top right hand corner to keep hopes of a Premier South return alive.
Elsewhere in men’s football, the sixes beat Sussex 4-2 to set up a South Eastern Conference Cup semi-final with Chichester’s fifth team, who won their last-eight match 3-2 away at University College London.
Jonny Linard opened the scoring before Sussex levelled through an own goal. Nat Lancaster-Robinson made it 2-1 after the visitors’ keeper parried the ball into his path. Sussex hit back with another equaliser – a lovely volley.
Then with barely five minutes to go Kieran Dowell was brought down in the box. Sussex were reduced to ten men and skipper Ciar Cox gave his side the lead with a calmly taken penalty. Linard wrapped things up in stoppage time.
Other teams booked their places in South Eastern Cup semi-finals.
Chi’s netball ones beat Portsmouth 55-31, and a 10-2 win at home to Imperial sent the women’s tennis team through to a last-four meeting with King’s College.
Chi’s men’s tennis team lost their quarter-final encounter with Surrey 8-4.
There was cup action for both men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. The men’s side had opponents from a higher tier rattled but Reading pulled away in the second half to edge this fiercely contested quarter-final 10-7.
Chi’s women’s lacrosse thrashed King’s 25-3 and will face Kent in the semis.