Chichester City can’t fell Sevenoaks – Lancing stun Three Bridges - Bosham and Brook welcome record crowd
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From kick-off, writes Peter Hutchings, Chichester seized the initiative and played incisive football with Rob Hutchings, Isaac Bello and Ethan Prichard causing havoc down the left.
Sevenoaks and former Rocks keeper Amadou Tangara was forced into a good save from Bello after 60 seconds, which resulted in a corner.
Two minutes later Bello broke clear again and should have opened the scoring and Rob Hutchings might have done better after a defence splitting run.
The football cliché about not taking your chances proved true again when, against the run of play, Sevenoaks took the lead in the 11th minute.
Ben Pashley misplaced a pass, the only mistake he made all game, and it was seized on by the Oaks centre forward Rowan Liburd who put the hosts ahead.
Although the absence of Joe Clarke impacted the physicality of the City midfield, Joe Moore, Emmett Dunn and Conrad Honore continued to cause problems.
Chi’s defence had little to do and the calm presence of Curtis Da Costa continued to impress.
Towards the end of the first half the home team begun to press and Kieran Magee produced a couple of smart saves.
The second period began with Chichester pressing high, with Sevenoaks happy to sit back and play on the break.
Sevenoaks grew into the game and Chichester continued to press. At the midway point Chichester lost Honore to what looked like a hamstring injury, and he was replaced by Olly Munt.
Ethan Prichard looked a disconsolate figure as he worked hard to create a breakthrough – frustrated with both himself and the referee.
A combination of resolute Oaks defending and poor Chi decision-making meant that it remained 1-0 as referee Lawrence Torz-Brown signalled nine minutes of added time.
Half chances came and went, but in the 94th minute Rob Hutchings sent a 30-yard diagonal cross to the far post. Unfortunately, however, the incoming Munt was unable to convert.
It was no surprise when Tangara was named MOM.
Chichester are sixth in the table, two points off second spot with games in hand.
It would appear Ramsgate and Cray Valley are the standout teams in the league, but Chi are more than capable of challenging.
This was a great game for the neutral, and yet again an opposition manager said Chichester were the “best footballing side in the league”.
However, the conundrum for the City management and players is how good performances are turned into positive results.
The positives – Chi are playing good football, dominating games, creating chances, have a great team spirit and have only conceded three goals in eight league games.
City host Mertsham in the league on Saturday at Bognor.
Lancing 4 Three Bridges 0
Isthmian south east
by Dave Wilmott
Three Bridges arrived at Culver Road as hot favourites to cement their place at the top of the table. The statistics were overwhelmingly in their favour. Played 9 (league games), scored 27, points 23. Lancing had found scoring to be difficult with only 8 scored in 7 games. But as Greavesy used to say “It’s a funny old game, Saint.”
Lancing were without the suspended Kyle Sim. Jack Meeres was back, having recovered from injury and Sam Bull partnered him at centre back. Not having been available for Sheppey, it was good to see leading goal scorer Lukas Franzen-Jones back.
Bridges started on the front foot and it was looking ominous for a little while as Talloh slipped the ball behind the Lancing defence for Lawson to run on to. But he fired straight into the arms of Louis Rogers. Ethan Archer, who was to prove Bridges most potent weapon, picked up the ball from deep, ran towards the box but his finish was well above the cross bar.
Lancing appeared nervy during the opening 10 minutes or so, as demonstrated by a Charlie Gibson attempted clearance, which cleared the fence behind the goal. This was matched immediately afterwards when Bridges laid the ball from the corner to an awaiting player who also put his effort out of the ground at a similar height.
Lancing began to find their feet with George Taggart sending Knory Scott scampering down the left, looking suspiciously offside. He hit an early cross into the box, the ball just evading Lukas Franzen-Jones.
Lukas and Charlie Bennett then vied with each other to get on the end of a cross from the right. Alex Laing left his full back for dead wasting no time with his delivery, which had keeper Jasper Sheik stretching to put the ball beyond the two Lancing players.
With 22 minutes gone, Alex Laing began a move cutting in from the right passing the ball forward to Lukas Franzen-Jones. The ball came off him towards a defender whose poor clearance came back to the Lancing striker, allowing him to rifle the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. This was the boost Lancing needed.
Bridges threatened to cancel out the lead shortly afterwards but the offside flag came to Lancing’s rescue. Bridges then rode a foul tackle, with the referee allowing advantage as the visitors motored towards the Lancing penalty area. Lancing committed a second risky tackle and a free kick was awarded just outside the box.
The Lancing wall did its job and Lancing launched a quick counter attack. Lukas Franzen-Jones held the ball up well for Knory Scott to race along the byline earning a corner. This led to Lancing’s second goal on 30 minutes. Again, the corner was not properly cleared. Knory robbed Archer of the ball and hammered it past the, probably unsighted, Sheik.
Alex Laing was in a dynamic mood and delivered a perfectly weighted pass to put Lukas Franzen-Jones in with a sight of goal. His effort from a tight angle was blocked by Sheikh but the clearance only reached Alex Laing coming off him to George Taggart who evaded Archer and curled a left foot shot into the keeper’s right corner.
33 minutes gone with Lancing three up, which gave Bridges a real challenge to maintain their unbeaten league record.
A long clearance by keeper Sheik put Jalloh, who had scored a hat trick in Bridges last outing against Littlehampton, in on goal but a combination of Tyrone Madhani and Louis Rogers snuffed out the threat. Jalloh was causing some anxiety in the Lancing defence and getting free to deliver crosses into the box, forcing Lancing into conceding corners but they were solid in defending the penalty area as corners were driven in.
Alex Laing was again the provider for Lukas Franzen-Jones but Sheik was off his line to smother Lukas’ effort.
Ethan Archer had been kept under control by Charlie Gibson but he escaped close attention towards the end of the first half, letting fly from a good 25 yards. Louis Rogers pulled off a superb one handed save to deny Bridges a dressing room lift. Lancing had a good opportunity to have the final word before the break when Knory Scott teed up George Taggart but, for once, his accurate left foot let him down, with his effort clearing the crossbar.
Bridges came out all guns blazing in the second half. Sam Bull had to stretch to make a vital interception, followed by Louis Rogers making a good save at the foot of the post. Jalloh was again busy clearing the crossbar with another effort on goal and forcing Jack Meeres to stoop low to head away another of his attempts on goal. Archer was also on the attack, weaving his way across the edge of the box but again off target with his finish.
Alex Laing came close to getting on the score sheet with a shot which came back off the keeper and which he then hit back towards the goal only to see Sheik stretch to palm the ball away.
Bridges were maintaining pressure on the Lancing defence but they were standing firm, not giving an inch.
George Taggart won possession on the right touchline and sent Charlie Bennett clear. He laid the ball on for Lukas Franzen-Jones who cleverly dummied allowing the ball to reach Alex Laing who hit it past a defender into the net. With only 15 minutes left it looked all over for Bridges. Alex Plummer came on for George Taggart, James Hull for Lukas Franzen-Jones and Dan Hull for Charlie Gibson, to help see out the game for Lancing. There was still work for Louis Rogers to, do having to deal with a free-kick. Despite being baulked he managed to hold on to the ball as it fell to the ground.
Bridges almost earned a consolation striking the upright in added time, the ball rebounding away to safety.
A well-earned victory for the Lancers. Bridges had some lively forwards who loved to run with the ball but a combination of poor finishing and a well organised, disciplined Lancing defence enabled the home team to keep a clean sheet. What had been the missing ingredient so far this season, putting the ball in the back of the net, was not missing today. Four goals will boost confidence for the games ahead. And it could have been more. There was certainly a desire to get forward to try and hit the target.
Bridges remain well clear at the top of the table, and Lancing move up to 9th.
Corporate sponsors, Foster & Co Estate Agents selected Charlie Gibson as their Player of the Match. Well deserved. Charlie showed great discipline, made a number of fine tackles and used the ball well.
Bosham FC 1 Jarvis Brook 1
SCFL Division 2
by Alan Price
Groundhop UK members made their much-anticipated arrival at Walton Lane as part of a bumper turnout to witness the clash between first and third.
The attendance record for a league game at the Lane was smashed with an impressive 232 spectators there to enjoy the football plus the array of merchandise and food on sale.
Bosham created the first opportunity, for Ben Sharp, but keeper Matthew Harman made a good save. Luke Leppard looked sharp for the yellows but went into the referee’s book early and then a short time later clattered Joe Boschi and was lucky not to receive his marching orders.
Bosham pressure finally paid off as, after a succession of near misses, they got their noses in front from a corner on the half hour. The ball was sung in by Sharp and Ash Harris met it with a fine volley at the back post.
The yellows regrouped and ten minutes later their pressure bore fruit when Conor Edmunds rose at the back stick and headed in to draw the leaders’ level.
As the second half moved on Bosham went close through Harris and Sharp – and Ed Kennett, introduced just after the hour, hit the bar with Harman beaten.
Jarvis Brook failed to muster many clear-cut chances and Bosham keeper Derek Harding was able to keep any shots at bay.
A challenge on Harding saw the shot stopper forced off with a nasty-looking facial injury and Jack Briant had the deputise.
The Reds created the better of the opportunities before the end.
Merchandise sales were hot and the food was snapped up by the hoppers and visiting league officials announced Ruben Etherington as Jarvis Brook’s man of the match and Bosham skipper Pat Bulbeck as the Reds’ star.
It was a wonderful occasion that will not be soon forgotten by all at Bosham.
The hoppers left after the match to make their way to Selsey for the last game of the day.
This week it’s back to cup action for the reds as Rottingdean make the trip to the lane for a Division 2 Cup tie.