Goals from Kaleem Haitham, Gicu lordache and Josh Clack secured a well-deserved three points for Chichester City in the Channel Islands.
- Haitham (44')
- Iordache (52')
- Clack (90')
Reporter: Dan Andrade
Coach Danny Potter said: “To go away and beat anybody in this league is pleasing. We didn’t know what exactly we were coming to play against, but the attitude of our lads was brilliant.”
In a game dominated by the Sussex outfit, lordache and Haitham both had chances in the opening stages but failed to test Guernsey’s shot-stopper Callum Stanton.
Chi keeper Steve Mowthorpe was equal to a Harry Tobin effort and denied Guernsey’s star man Ross Allen, before the visitors countered and lordache gave Stanton something to think about.
Haitham and Ryan Davidson added to Miles Rutherford’s side’s shot count, but neither could find the net as the game went past the half-hour mark.
Allen then brought the best out of Mowthorpe as the keeper produced a fine save with a strong right hand low at his near post.
Matt Axell, who worked tirelessly throughout, found Clack with a tremendous ball over the hosts’ defence, but Clack fluffed a golden chance to open the score, mishitting his shot wide where he might have lobbed the out-coming Stanton.
The deadlock was broken just before the break when Haitham raced on to a loose ball and coolly tucked it past Stanton.
Guernsey came out hungry and Green Lions captain Jamie Dodd had a chance to level but his close-range effort was blocked by a combination of Mowthorpe and Ben Pashley.
Chi doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when lordache nipped in and stole the ball after a wayward pass by a defender, took a couple of touches and blasted a shot into the back of the net, much to the delight of the fans who’d braved Storm Ciara and crossed the Channel.
Robbie Legg should have pulled one back moments later but saw his volley fly over the bar.
Lloyd Rowlatt next found midfield partner Axell, who put a rocket wide.
Clack and Axell both had chances to grab a third, but Stanton stopped the No7 before Axell spurned an opportunity from five yards out.
Clack, Chi’s top scorer, put the game to bed late on, stabbing the ball past Stanton after a neat one two with Iordache.
The Chichester team flew home later on Saturday before the storm arrived in earnest but some club officials and fans had a longer stay on the island than planned when their scheduled Sunday flight was cancelled because of high winds.
Potter added, “The momentum of positive results will keep the boys going physically in this busy period. Two big results in a row will help us push on for Tuesday’s match against Haywards Heath.”
Captain Connor Cody said, “The performance was the most pleasing thing about today. The front four were brilliant and started the press which was key to how we played as a team.
“We have to continue to put in the performances and make a name for ourselves in this league. We can even start to think about getting into the play-offs, but before the season started our aim was to stay up so we have more than surpassed that.”
Chichester have started the second half of their first Step 4 campaign with back to back wins over Three Bridges and Guernsey.
They’ve won four league games in the last five, keeping three clean sheets in a spell that has seen them move up to seventh place.
Only Ashford United, who are one point behind leaders Hastings, have picked up more away wins in the Isthmian South East division this term.
Chi travel to old county league rivals Haywards Heath on Tuesday 11th February (Kick Off 7:45pm)
Chichester: Mowthorpe, Davidson, Pashley, Axell, Cody, Heath, Clack, Horncastle, Iordache, Rowlatt, Haitham. Subs (Dunn, Hutchings, Jones, Peake, Biggs)