False start for new-look Chichester - but they soon put it right

New Chichester captain Perry Northeast in action against Lingfield  Picture by Louise Adams
New Chichester captain Perry Northeast in action against Lingfield Picture by Louise Adams

NEW-LOOK Chichester City were given a baptism of fire, losing 6-1 at home to Lingfield – but didn’t have to wait long for their first victory, 1-0 at home to Arundel.

New bosses Neil Sherlock and Alex Twitchen included nine debutants in the starting line-up against Lingfield, with Steve Cotton the only survivor from the old regime.

Perry Northeast, signed from Barnham, and Scott Dormer, an ex-Midhurst player, were joined by County League newcomers.

Lingfield’s key man was former Crystal Palace and Brentford pro Gareth Graham.

City conceded a free-kick after three minutes. Graham curled his shot straight in.

But Chichester were level a couple of minutes later when Oliver Brooks got the final touch after the Lingfield keeper misjudged a high ball.

In the 37th minute the Surrey side regained the advantage as Josh Cowlson headed in a Graham corner at the near-post.

An attack by Cowlson on 50 minutes appeared to be dealt with adequately, but the ball fell to Graham, whose magnificent long-range lob dipped perfectly into the goal.

Aaron Courtney, Cowlson and sub Tom Hughes added further goals.

CITY: Winter, Prior, Madle, Hibbert, Stevens, Brooks, Northeast, Holmes, Dormer, Baker, S Cotton. Subs: M Cotton, Barton, Potter.

Chichester bounced back on Monday for a 1-0 victory over Arundel, giving themselves a fighting chance of climbing off the bottom.

On a greasy surface, the opening 45 minutes were tight and goalless.

Play became more open and Michael Grant broke the deadlock on 68 minutes following good build-up play from the City forwards.

The final ten minutes was a ‘backs-against-the-wall’ job but City held on.

Chichester’s new captain Perry Northeast said: “We deserved the three points and it really did feel like good times are just around the corner for the club. There already seems to be togetherness in the squad which is really pleasing to see.

“What was impressive is three members of the starting line-up are part of the under-18s squad and all three had excellent games.”

City: Winter, Prior, S Cotton, Heath, Stevens, Potter, Northeast, Forry, Bastone, Grant, Groom. Sub: Barton.