First Team
Isthmian League South East Sat 22 February Oaklands Park
Chichester City
  • Haitham (47')
  • Jones (78')
  • Brown (88')

Chichester City gave the Oaklands Park faithful something to cheer about in their first home game in a month as they blew Hythe away.

Chi’s previous three matches had fallen foul of storms Ciara and Dennis with the mid-week fixture at Whitehawk called off just four minutes before kick-off.

It finished goalless when Chichester met Hythe in the reverse, and although the hosts dominated for long spells here, it was 0-0 at the break.

City were without Gicu Iordache and top scorer Josh Clack, who began a three game suspension following that odd red card in the seven goal thriller with Three Bridges.

Hythe came into this encounter on the back of a fine run of form, losing only one of their past twelve games but the Kent outfit rarely troubled keeper Steve Mowthorpe and his back-line in the opening half.

Darren Oldaker had a chance to lob Mowthorpe who’d come out to head clear but his effort was blocked; Nathan Gordon pulled a shot wide; Charlie Webster fired one off target; and Frannie Collin drilled an attempt straight into the Chi stopper’s gloves.

Haitham spurned a golden opportunity to put Chi in front barely 10 minutes in and three other decent first half chances came and went as well before Rob Hutchings might have scored and should have been awarded a penalty just before the interval.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 47th minute after a bit of trickery from Haitham who managed to keep control of the ball and lifted an effort over keeper Will Godmon, one of only four Hythe players to feature in the starting XI that faced Chi back in October.

It was Haitham’s third goal in as many games.

Godmon then denied Jamie Horncastle and the midfielder struck the bar moments later.

Jamie Horncastle goes close (Photo: Neil Holmes)

Matt Axell next picked out Haitham with a super cross but he headed wide.

Lloyd Rowlatt and Jones were inches away from getting to Ryan Davidson’s delivery and Rowlatt drilled an attempt the wrong side of the post.

Jones doubled the lead on 78 minutes with a characteristic header, latching on to Axell’s set-piece before sub Alex Brown pulled one back with two to go to give Chi fans a typically nervy stoppage time.

The home side weathered a late storm though to leapfrog their visitors into seventh place in the Isthmian South East division. Only Cray Valley PM have picked up more points than Chichester in their last six games.

Chi welcome fifth placed Herne Bay next on Tuesday 25th February (Kick Off 7:45pm) before taking on league leaders Ashford United both home and away in the space of four days.

Chichester – Mowthorpe, Davidson, Pashley, Axell, Connor Cody, Heath, Hutchings, Horncastle, Jones, Rowlatt, Haitham. Subs – (Peake, Biggs, Bennetts, George Cody, Ndlovu)