Chichester City’s Southern Combination League challenge continued with a 4-0 win over Littlehampton - but their bid for Sussex Senior Cup glory ended with a brave 2-1 defeat away to National League South side Eastbourne Borough.
Here are the reports - and don’t miss today’s Observer for all the local football action, tables, results and fixtures.
Chichester City 4 Littlehampton 0
SCFL premier division
Chichester City returned to league action after their FA Vase heroics and strolled past ten-men Littlehampton at Oaklands Park.
The first 45 minutes brought many half chances.
In the tenth minute, Littlehampton’s keeper pulled off a fine stop to deny City the lead after a corner was too hot to handle.
Dan Hegarty, who has been in fine form of late, came close in the 25th minute but his effort went just wide.
Josh Clack had a good effort from the edge of the box well saved, the rebound being blocked for a corner. Centre-back Jack Lee broke the deadlock from the resulting corner, shortly before half-time. Lee met a quality delivery and guided the ball home.
City doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time. Ellis Martin saw his fantastic free-kick come back off an upright, but Jamie Horncastle was there to convert the rebound.
After the interval, Hegarty had another good chance following impressive play by Harry Williams.
On the hour, Kieran Hartley scored Chichester’s third. After good work from Clack on the wing, the usually-clinical Scott Jones fluffed a golden chance to add to his season’s tally. However, the ball came out to Hartley, who neatly tucked it away into the corner.
Littlehampton were reduced to ten men when Daniel Hand, who had clashes with Martin and Lee, received a second yellow card and his marching orders for an off-the-ball incident with Lee, who also received a booking.
Martin converted City’s fourth goal from the spot.
The home fans also got a glimpse of a new City prospect with manager Miles Rutherford giving Omar Barry, 19, a run-out.
Chichester visit Eastbourne Town on Saturday and go to Lancing next Tuesday.
Eastbourne Borough 2 Chichester City 1
Sussex Senior Cup R3
Chichester City pushed Eastbourne Borough all the way despite their hosts operating three divisions above them.
Borough sit mid-table in the Conference South and are the holders of the cup but the Chichester squad were told to go out and enjoy themselves, play with no pressure and win the one-versus-one battles.
They played with confidence and Chichester were the brighter team for the majority for the first half.
Scott Jones had an early chance to put the visitors ahead before Ellis Martin saw a free-kick go narrowly past the post.
Eastbourne started to take control and the frontline of Tom Murphy and Nathaniel Pinney started to cause problems for the Chichester defence.
Pinney got on the end of a through-ball on 20 minutes and finished well past Ant Ender.
Chichester responded well and created chances of their own, with the game opening up and both sides using width well.
Jamie Horncastle for Chichester was influential in his holding role in midfield, getting lots of time and space.
Borough finished the half the better team having created a few good chances which they failed to put away, Ender making a very good one-on-one save just before half-time.
At the start of the second half Chichester again looked the better team, playing free-flowing football and using the energy of Jones up front.
His work-rate was rewarded in the 70th minute with a cool finish from a Dan Hegarty through-ball and Chichester fully deserved to be level.
The game became heated with a few clashes between Martin and the Eastbourne players, and Borough started to dictate the game.
With seven minutes left, the impressive Pinney picked the ball up on the edge of the Chichester area and finished well with his right foot past Ender.
Chichester couldn’t find a second equaliser but were credited by the Borough management for a very good performance.
City manager Miles Rutherford said he was pleased for his players, who had played well and not hidden from the challenge of playing a National League South side.
Chichester City go back to Eastbourne on Saturday, this time to take on Eastbourne Town in the league.
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