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City hold Worthing in entertaining pre-season draw

Callum Overton scored a hat-trick of headers against his former club as Chichester shared six goals with division-higher Worthing.

Chichester City
3
Worthing
3
Sat 27 Jul, 2019 Friendly

The prolific frontman was on target twice in the first half to give Chi a two goal lead, although goals from Reece Meekums and Darren Budd saw the sides go in level at half time.

Worthing took the lead early in the second half but Overton powered home from a corner soon after to secure a creditable draw for Chi who remain unbeaten during pre-season.

Overton was one of five former Worthing players in Miles Rutherford’s starting eleven, lining up alongside Josh Clack, Matt Axell, Corey Heath and captain Connor Cody.

The away side took control of the game early on, their speed of pass and movement off the ball causing problems for the Chi defence as they struggled to get a foothold in the game early on.

Worthing failed to take advantage of this early dominance though and as the home side grew into to the game they were rewarded with the opening goal of the game.

A foul on Jamie Horncastle midway into Worthing territory gave Axell the chance to delivery a ball into the box that Overton beat everyone to, flicking the ball past a helpless Relf.

Not long after Chi doubled their lead. Good work by Clack down the right saw him beat a defender and deliver for Overton to convert from more-or-less on the goalline.

Despite getting themselves in a good position Rutherford will be concerned at how his team allowed Worthing back into the game before the break.

The deficit was halved when Reece Meekums cut in from the left and curled an effort into the top corner, despite Steven Mowthorpe’s getting an hand to it.

The visitors didn’t have to wait long for an opportunity to draw level albeit in controversial circumstances.

Meekums went down on the edge of the area under the challenge of Heath who appeared to win the ball first, referee Dan Austin though awarded a free-kick to the men in red.

Skipper Darren Budd stepped up and curled the ball home, although Mowthorpe will be extremely disappointed in his defensive wall that seemed to break and allow the ball to pass through.

Shortly after the break Worthing completed the comeback, the home defence failed to clear a corner allowing Ben Mendoza to poke home from close range.

They weren’t ahead for long however as Overton completed an impressive hat-trick from Ellis Martin’s corner.

A host of substitutions followed for both sides, Worthing changing nine men on the hour mark and one of those changes, Ollie Pearce came closest to a winner in the remaining minutes. The former Bognor man curled a beautiful effort against the post via the fingertips of Mowthorpe.

A large crowd at Oaklands Park was treated to an entertaining encounter throughout while Rutherford and his management team will have learnt a lot about his squad in what was by far their biggest test in pre-season to date.

The team’s final run out before the season sees them take on neighbours Bognor Regis Town in the Sussex Challenge Cup on Tuesday evening at Sussex County FA Headquarters, Lancing.