Stalwart Pearce joins Chichester’s bid for honours

Daren Pearce in his new Chichester City colours  Picture by Alan Hook
Daren Pearce in his new Chichester City colours Picture by Alan Hook

CHICHESTER have signed Daren Pearce from Littlehampton as their player-assistant manager.

Pearce, who has more than 20 years’ experience playing football in Sussex, comes in following the recent departure of City joint boss Neil Sherlock.

Pearce made more than 200 appearances for Bognor during the 1990s and later captained Eastbourne Borough during their meteoric rise from the Sussex League to the Conference South.

He has made numerous appearances for the county representative side and was at Pagham up to the end of last season.

City manager Sean Forry said: “Daren has been the most consistent Sussex midfielder at any level for the past 20 years and his experience and quality is going to be a real asset to the club and our young squad – we are all looking forward to his involvement.”

Hailsham 3 Chichester City 4

Sussex League division one

SPECTATORS at the Beaconsfield were treated to an entertaining clash with visitors Chichester coming from behind to clinch success by the odd goal in seven.

A long-range effort from Graham Bush gave City a 13th-minute lead, but straight from the restart Hailsham equalised with Sam Divall cutting the ball back to goal-poacher Dan Leach.

Hailsham keeper James Firman made two good saves while Jamie Salvidge was denied a penalty appeal at the other end. Two minutes before half-time, Salvidge put his side in front by drilling the ball home from inside the box.

The Stringers gave away a free-kick with an hour played that led to Dan Hegarty striking to make it 2-2. Once again, however, Hailsham responded immediately with Divall restoring their lead.

In a grandstand finale, Chichester grabbed two goals in the closing stages to take the spoils. First, a trademark missile from midfielder Fraser Smith levelled the contest, then Joe Gromett shot through Firman’s legs with eight minutes remaining.

From Hailsham’s point of view, it was a harsh outcome with victory thrown away, but Chichester’s style of direct passing continually caused panic in the home defence with great spirit and self-belief in evidence.

CITY: Ender, Pearce, Boniface, Fowlie, Hibbert, Hegarty, Woolf, F Smith, Gromett, Ansa, Bush. Sub: Yates.

Chichester City 0 East Preston 0

Sussex League division one

CHICHESTER gained a well-earned point at home to reigning County League champions East Preston on Tuesday.

Despite no goals, it was an absorbing contest – although some very wayward shooting was on display from both teams.

Joe Shelley almost scored from close range for EP on 31 minutes when a high, dipping ball caught out Anthony Ender in the City goal, and there was some serious pressure for the home side immediately after the break when EP gained five consecutive corners.

Chichester’s best chance came on 66 minutes when Joe Gromett belted the ball goalbound, but it was turned away.

At the death, EP should have clinched victory when Dave Herbert was released and had clear sight of goal, but his tightly-angled shot went just wide of the far post.

CITY: Ender, Williams, Edwards, Boniface, Fowlie, F Smith, Ansa, Pearce, Bush, Woolf, Gromett. Sub: Silvester.

Chichester visit Loxwood on Saturday.