Bognor is home sweet home for Chichester City – Three Bridges go top

Chichester City celebrate one of the goals that saw off Lancing at Nyewood Lane | Picture: Neil Holmes
Chichester City celebrate one of the goals that saw off Lancing at Nyewood Lane | Picture: Neil Holmes

Ryan Davidson returned to the starting XI with Lee Suk-jae, who picked up a shoulder injury in the Velocity Cup penalty shoot-out win against Broadbridge Heath last time out, on the bench alongside Isaac Bello, Conrad Honore, Joe Moore and Kyle O’Brien.

After a minute’s ovation for the two City stalwarts that passed away recently, Lancing defender Charlie Bennett’s drag back set up a neat move involving George Taggart, Charlie Gibson and Andrew Briggs – Bennett’s trick would feature three or four times in the half. Ben Pashley found Chi skipper Steve Hutchings with a decent pass but Hutchings’ ball to Ethan Prichard was a little firm and then Prichard’s lovely touch to control Kaleem Haitham’s feed led to a cross-cum-shot as he slipped past his marker.

Bennett did Joe Clarke with another drag back on five minutes before Lancing keeper Alieu Secka was off his line smartly to beat Clack to a super ping from Rob Hutchings. Next, the same player’s diag to Haitham was too heavy as was Alex Laing’s one towards Callum Dowdell.

Chichester City line up as the home team at Bognor for the first time - with Lancing the visitors | Picture: Neil Holmes
Chichester City line up as the home team at Bognor for the first time - with Lancing the visitors | Picture: Neil Holmes

Haitham was wiped out by Taggart on 10 – no booking according to referee Jonathan Pike, before further skill from Prichard allowed him to get a shot off which was blocked and Dunn dragged an effort just wide. Nice play by Man of the Match Clarke created another opportunity for Prichard but Secka was out sharply again to head clear on this occasion.

Davidson did well to win Chi a first corner in the 16th minute that Prichard took and failed to get past the first man. Prichard subsequently crossed to Steve Hutchings who couldn’t convert. Clack couldn’t bring Curtis Da Costa’s pass down; Haitham unleashed an attempt which was blocked; and the visitors’ back line coped with the problem an advanced Davidson caused.

Lancing carved out a rare raid 21 minutes in although Clack cleared easily enough and another piece of skill from Bennett led to a delivery that teammates couldn’t quite get to. Chi forged a couple of decent efforts at the mid-point with Prichard shooting wide and Clarke forcing Secka to palm away his cracking drive.

The Lancing custodian then safely gathered a Davidson effort which nicked off a defender and into his arms. Moments later, Pashley impeded Bennett just outside the area. Gibson whipped the resulting set-piece in and Dan Hull wasn’t far away with a diving header. At the other end Secka denied Rob Hutchings at his near post and also Clarke, who burst through the centre of the park and let fly.

Henry Watson got away with an obvious obstruction on Haitham five minutes or so before the break and Prichard spun an opponent and pulled a shot off target. Both Haitham and Steve Hutchings had swipes at a Davidson delivery who next got across magnificently to clear ahead of former Chi player Tyrone Madhani.

And then after a pretty constant barrage of first half pressure Steve Hutchings deservedly broke the deadlock turning the rebound in after Prichard had pivoted brilliantly and rattled the woodwork. A peach of a goal made it 2-0 barely sixty seconds after the restart. It didn’t look like Dunn would get to the ball at first, but he did, and the Canadian curled a fantastic finish in off the post.

Dunn was instrumental in Chi’s next attack sending Clack on a weaving run which was repelled eventually. A combination of Davidson and Dunn defended well to deny Dowdell with Lancing threatening in the box. Gibson made way for sub Jacob Thompson as the Lancers rejigged on 52 just before Pashley teed Haitham up for a long-ranger that Secka gathered at the second time of asking.

The home side then won an hour-mark corner which Rob Hutchings sent over and both Davidson and Steve Hutchings had a go at headers. Da Costa and Madhani battled next and Andrew Briggs picked up the game’s first yellow card, maybe for something he said. The visitors rang the changes once more with James Hull replacing Dowdell in the 65th minute. Prichard, who was a serious thorn in Lancing’s side all match, got in only for Watson to snuff out the danger and Rob Hutchings’s consequent corner and cross caused further issues.

Secka took a Prichard delivery superbly before Clack joined Briggs in the ref’s notepad and the away team earned a first corner on 68 which Davidson cleared. Clack then burst through, took his time, and finished stylishly to put Chi three up. Lee came on for Steve Hutchings who scored four goals in his three league matches for Chi last season and netted six in pre-season, with 20 minutes of normal time to go.

Prichard then laid the ball off to Haitham but Secka acrobatically tipped the No11’s shot over the crossbar. Lancing forced Kieran Magee into his first genuine save in the 76th minute, punching away a header after a free-kick. Kyle Sim replaced Watson and Dunn was exchanged for Honore before the Chi keeper was again called into action. Prichard went down a little too easily perhaps on 78 when Clarke lifted a pass over the top and Magee denied Laing with a brilliant save to maintain his clean-sheet.

Magee’s counterpart then prevented Clack with his feet and Prichard’s cross was steered out for a corner which had too much on it. Honore and then Pashley conceded set-pieces and Briggs hit the second one straight at Magee. Lucas Franzen-Jones, who scored for Haywards Heath against Chi last year in that ten-man 2-2 draw, couldn’t beat Magee this time. Rob Hutchings found Haitham for a piece of Zidane skill and a pass towards Clack before defenders stood off Laing and allowed him to send a dipping shot inches over the bar.

Haitham then played Hutchings in with an audacious rabona ball just before the final whistle. The win takes Chichester up to fifth place after two matches.

Next up is a second trip for Chi to Broadbridge Heath, in league action this time, on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).

Chichester – Magee, Davidson, Rob Hutchings, Clarke, Da Costa, Pashley, Prichard, Dunn, Steve Hutchings, Clack, Haitham. Subs – (Bello, Honore, Lee, Moore, O’Brien).


and here is a report on the same game from the Lancing camp – by Dave Wilmott:

This was a rare opportunity for Lancing to sample the delights of the MKM Arena, home of Bognor Regis and, temporarily, the home ground for Chichester City, who are undergoing ground works to provide them with a 3G pitch.

Lancing began playing out from the back with confidence but the first effort on goal came on 13 minutes with Chichester’s with Kaleem Haitham firing past the upright. Another opportunity came their way but Alieu Secka was quickly off his line heading the ball clear and to safety to prevent Ethan Prichard reaching it.

Prichard scored the only goal in last season’s home win by Chichester, when he was a real threat and he was just as lively today, twisting and turning at pace and fully stretching Charlie Bennett having to use all his defensive skills. Bennett showed again that he can attack as well as defend and was the instigator of most of Lancing’s attempts to get into Chichester’s final third.

Bennett got forward on the right delivering a dangerous cross which flew across the box eluding everyone. He followed this with another strong run but was unfairly balked at the edge of the box. His delivery of the free kick came close to finding Dan Hull but, despite being at full stretch, he just failed to get his head to the ball.

Full back Rob Hutchings was able to get in behind the Lancing defence but Alieu Secka was able to get down to save low at his near post.

As the game reached the final stages of the first half, Lancing had not yet tested Kieran Magee in the Chichester goal but Ethan Prichard continued to pose a threat, with a clever turn inside onto his right finishing with a strike which flew just wide of the upright. Lancing had a fortunate escape on 42 minutes when Josh Clack mishit a ball in from the right, and it dropped invitingly to Haitham who blazed it well clear of the cross bar.

As the first half was coming to an end, Alex Laing showed a fine burst of pace racing on to a through ball from George Taggart. But before he could settle to get a shot away the ball was taken from him by a well-timed tackle

Ethan Prichard’s persistence paid off a minute into added time, cutting in from the left and hitting a curling effort which struck the far upright, the ball fell kindly to Josh Clack with the easiest of tasks to plant the ball into the empty net. A minute into added time and Chichester were in front.

A tough challenge grew even greater with just over a minute of the second half underway. Alieu Secka’s distribution seemed to put his defender in difficulties. Emmett Dunn won possession and curled a shot in off the upright to put his side two up.

Lancing made their first substitution on 52 minutes with new signing Jacob Thompson coming on for Charlie Gibson.

George Taggart was working hard, dropping deep to pick up the ball up and trying to get the ball to the front line but Lancing could not find the finishing touch to some promising moves. George Taggart was played through into a threatening position but play was halted with a dubious off side call.

Lancing changed their formation, adopting three at the back, Jacob Thompson occupying the right-hand side, Charlie Bennett pushing forward to support the midfield. Tyrone Madhani moved into a central position with Alex Laing wide on the right. James Hull came on for Callum Dowdell on 65 minutes but 4 minutes later Chichester were able to launch a counter attack. Josh Clack used his strength to force his way past Lancing’s last man and run through before finishing clinically.

Ethan Prichard continued to find an opening for a shot on goal but Alieu Secka was able to get two hands to the ball and turn it over the cross bar.

Lancing brought on Kyle Sim for Henry Watson for the last 15 minutes and he was quickly into the action clearing a dangerous ball into the six-yard box. Lancing had not given up the fight and Alex Laing sent a pass to James Hull close to goal but he was ruled offside. Alex Laing then produced the shot of the game hitting a superb drive, worthy of at least a consolation goal, but an acrobatic one -handed save by Magee was equal to it.

Alieu Secka was tested again but able to keep the ball out, it falling to Kyle Sim who was able to volley away from danger.

Alex Laing broke clear and laid the ball into the path of Lukas Franzen-Jones who hit a low drive but Magee was able to deal with it comfortably. Some excellent play by George Taggart created another opening for Alex Laing who attacked the goal at pace but his fiercely struck drive flew narrowly too high.

Chichester made the most of their scoring opportunities but for all their honest endeavour Lancing ‘s only serious goal attempt came very late in the game and would only have been a consolation at best.

After netting three times in their previous game to overturn a 2 -0 deficit, there was some hope that Lancing could reproduce that form but it was not to be.

We committee who were present to select our Player of the Match, debated the merits of Charlie Bennett and George Taggart but we opted for George by a slender margin. He beavered away, covering a lot of ground, and showed excellent ball control and an ability to twist and turn getting away from his marker.

Beckenham Town 1 Three Bridges 2

Isthmian south east

Three Bridges sat top of the table on Saturday evening after a second win in their first three games.
An away win in the league is something Bridges managed just once last season, and it was a deserved one after an inauspicious start.

Beckenham’s first decent attack after eight minutes brought them a goal as three defenders were found wanting as Emmanuel Oloyede brought down a cross and drove the perfect shot past a helpless Leo Anderson.

Anthony Adesite was causing all sorts of problems for the visitors in the early stages, but Bridges dug in and began to make some decent inroads into the home defence.

Tresor Difika threaded a fine ball through for lively debutant Ethan Archer to fire just over, and five minutes before the interval the outstanding Harvey Woollard made a hefty challenge against Adesite and sent Kevin Rivera away.

Despite being forced a little wide, Rivera ended by setting up Camron Lawson for a neat equaliser.
George Goodwin headed just wide and Jargal Enkh rattled the bar as the half ended, but at the other end Rivera was blocked twice, Noel Leighton was just offside as Brannon O’Neill provided an audacious chip, while a Lawson shot produced a solid appeal for a penalty.

Anderson made a couple of timely saves as the hosts threatened again, Adesite and Oloyede inevitably being involved, while Leighton shot just wide after a good run.

But, after 67 minutes, it was Bridges who stole ahead with Difika finding Sam Packham, who interacted with Lawson before the latter drove into space and hit a lovely curling shot beyond keeper Nick Blue.

Sadly, the excellent Packham was hurt in the build-up and had to be replaced, but Bridges continued to dominate with Blue brilliantly tipping over a rasping effort from Leighton before pushing away another good drive by Conner Collcutt.
This was a rather ruthless performance by Bridges with plenty of good attacking moments.

Bridges MoM Harvey Woollard.