A stunning effort from Steve Hutchings along with goals from Lorenzo Dolcetti and Josh Clack saw impressive Chichester City power past Haywards Heath in their second-versus-third SCFL premier division clash.
The 3-0 away win moved City level on points with Haywards Heath, but City remain third on goal difference.
The home side had the first meaningful chance but Callum Saunders’ fierce long-range effort was saved by City keeper Ant Ender. The rebound was converted but an offside flag denied Town’s Trevor McGreasie.
The visitors took the lead in the 15th minute. Harry Williams put a looping cross into the box which Heath’s shot-stopper Josh James misjudged, leaving Dolcetti with an easy headed finish.
Kieran Hartley had a shot which almost caught out keeper James. The unsighted stopper had to dive to prevent the ball trickling in.
Dolcetti continued to influence the game with smart play, setting up Dan Hegarty on the edge of the box, but Hegarty fired over the bar when he might have done better.
Clack found himself in a promising position on his right foot, only to see his shot somewhat comically go out for a throw-in after the winger horribly sliced his effort.
However, in the early stages of the second half Clack made amends by doubling Chichester’s lead. After a quality counter attack, Hutchings found the unmarked Clack who fired in the second to give City some breathing space.
Moments later came the highlight of the match.
Clack returned the earlier favour and found Hutchings on the edge of the box. Hutchings, who led the line tremendously throughout, took two touches and found the top corner with a curling effort which gave James no chance.
Clack had an opportunity to get his second, but James foiled the tricky winger with a great save in the 70th minute.
Heath never gave in and pushed to break down the City defence, but Ellis Martin and Jack Lee were in dominant form, as was Ender with several quality saves to make sure they went back to Oaklands Park with a clean sheet and all three points.
This was a very convincing performance by City and they head into the final fixtures of the season in high spirits.
City entertain Eastbourne United AFC at Oaklands Park on Saturday as Miles Rutherford’s side look to keep pressure on Shoreham and Haywards Heath at the top.
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