The University of Chichester men’s football first team got the new British Universities and Colleges Sports season under way with an impressive home win against 2015 national champions Hartpury.
The sides compete in Premier League South and the Gloucestershire-based visitors, who have won the title eight times in nine years, are considered one of the best uni sides in the UK.
But the hosts started better and striker Iffy Onwuachu was only inches away from connecting with a super cross from Lorenzo Dolcetti in the first five minutes. Then Drew Smith and Tafadzwa Kanjanda linked up nicely, carving out an opportunity the Hartpury keeper did well to deal with.
Chichester went ahead from the spot in the 15th minute through Lloyd Rowlatt after Kanjanda was brought down following a precision pass from Dolcetti. Just before the break Dolcetti and Onwuachu went close.
Kanjanda made it 2-0 eight minutes into the second half with a cool finish after good work from Rowlett.
Hartpury got back in the game on 63 minutes when the ball was prodded in from close range as Chichester struggled to clear their lines.
A lovely Dolcetti free-kick with four minutes to go gave the hosts a two-goal cushion again but a Hartpury penalty 30 seconds later set up a nervy final spell.
Coach Danny Potter said: “It’s a great start to the season. Beating Hartpury is always a challenge. We lost to them in both league games last year. We had a good spread of players in the starting team – three freshers, six second years and only two third years.”
Things didn’t go so well for the women’s football first team, who suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat to Hertfordshire.
Perry Northeast’s side just missed out on the 2016-17 Premier South title but found American player Jenna Roering a real handful in this opener.
The striker from Lino Lakes, Minnesota, transferred to Hertfordshire after playing NCAA Division 1 women’s soccer at Santa Clara University, California.
Roering’s first came on 20 minutes but Chichester equalised a minute later through an own goal before a mazy run and twist and turn got Roering in behind the back four on the half-hour to regain the lead.
Isa Agus put her side 3-1 up just after the re-start. With 15 minutes to go Roering beat a couple of defenders and dinked the ball over Courtney Trodd before teeing up Evie Clarke for a tap-in.
Uni of Chi men: Hutchings, Steel (Sharp), Smith (Borges), Liss, Davidson (captain), Sanders, Rowlatt, Dolcetti Onwuachu, Chand, Kanjanda.
Uni of Chi women: Trodd, Hoskins (Maltashed), Bloomfield, Norum, Hobday (Ellis), Phelps, Cook, Humphreys, Reed, Howard, Bush.
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