City close the gap on league leaders with win over Hassocks

Scott Jones was at the double in Chichester's win over Hassocks on Saturday. Picture by Tommy McMillan.
Scott Jones was at the double in Chichester's win over Hassocks on Saturday. Picture by Tommy McMillan.

Chichester City Football Club closed the gap on Southern Combination League Premier Division leaders Shoreham on Saturday.

City had to come from behind to seal an emphatic 4-2 victory over Hassocks at Oaklands Park.

Chichester players celebrate with Scott Jones following his first goal on Saturday. Picture by Tommy McMillan.

Chichester players celebrate with Scott Jones following his first goal on Saturday. Picture by Tommy McMillan.

As well as Chichester’s win, table-toppers Shoreham were held to a 2-2 home draw by Eastbourne Town, meaning Miles Rutherford’s side are just five points off the top - in third.

Having lost just once in the league all season, City started slowly and sloppy defending saw them fall behind early on.

The home side failed to clear their lines following a corner, with Michael Death on hand to tuck home from all of three yards.

Chi bounced back less than five minutes later, though, with in-form Scott Jones notching his sixth goal in the past four games.

City then went ahead for the first time in fortuitous fashion on the half-hour. Kieran Hartley’s half-volley from the edge took a huge deflection before looping over James Broadbent in Hassocks’ goal.

Chichester were having to work hard, with Robins getting back in it five minutes later. City stopper Anthony Ender was left with no chance as James Westlake headed home from close range.

The pulsating scoring in the opening 45 minutes didn’t stop there, though, with Chichester striking twice more before the half was out.

First, Dan Watts converted a dangerous whipped ball from the left after 40 minutes. Then, moments before the interval, Jones struck his 13th league goal so far this season as City went in 4-2 ahead at the break.

The second 45 minutes proved to be somewhat of a drab affair, with very few chances created. Jamie Horncastle’s sweet strike, which was tipped over by Broadbent, was the closest either side came as City sealed a 4-2 victory.

Chichester travel to rivals Wick on Saturday as they look to keep the pressure on leaders Shoreham.

CHICHESTER CITY: Ender; Williams, Horncastle, Collard, Pashley; Clack, Thoms, Martin, Hartley; Watts, Jones. Subs: Lee, Barry, Northeast, Potter.