Report courtesy of Chichester City FC website. Thank you
“To be honest I thought they deserved to win. So we're delighted, in a way. But we shouldn't have made it that difficult. It's good to get the three points, certainly in the circumstances, that's for sure. ”Jack Lee
Action from last season's fixture (Picture: Andy Nunn)
A stoppage time goal from skipper Jack Lee helped earn Chi all three points in a dramatic comeback after trailing 3-1 at Arundel with 15 minutes to go.
This was a very different home side to the one Chichester beat 6-0 last time out at Mill Road in the RUR Cup back in August.
Before the match Arundel's assistant manager Simon Hull said, “We're having a good run. We've got a long way to go though and we're in a proper dogfight in the league.”
Buoyed by back to back wins against Hassocks and Eastbourne United Hull's team certainly put up a fight and goals from Jordan Dudas, Alex Biggs and Josh Biggs looked to have condemned Chi to their first defeat in seven before the visitors rallied late on to grab a win that lifts them up to second place in the league heading towards a busy festive period.
City started brightly enough forcing corner after corner. Scott Jones was denied by the Arundel keeper from one of these in the 10th minute and moments later a lovely pass from Lee picked out Lorenzo Dolcetti who cut into the box but the Italian's shot nicked off a defender for a corner.
Then the visitors had claims for a penalty waved away by referee Richard Sargeant after Scott Murfin was bundled over.
It was all Chi for twenty minutes or so. Jones went close again, Lee got on the end of a Ruben French cross, Harry Williams had a shot blocked and Murfin was unlucky not to make more of a ball over the top from Kieran Hartley.
At the other end Dion Jarvis caused problems a couple of times but Ant Ender pulled off a smart save at the near post and then Lee and Williams cut out Jarvis' cross following a mix up between Hartley and Dolcetti.
On 22 minutes Jones rose above everyone to meet another corner but his header was cleared somehow.
The opener finally came from the spot rather than open play, Murfin coolly slotting the penalty kick away for his first goal in his second spell at City.
Miles Rutherford's side really should have made more of things.
Dan Hegarty, who seemed to be everywhere, wasn't far off with a header from Hartley's pass before Dolcetti, in his first game following a back injury, fizzed a fierce drive just over. How many clubs can say one of their players has just come back from Juventus after seeing the club's medical specialists?
The hosts made their opponents pay for missed opportunities with an equaliser that came following a period of pressure at the end of the half. First Jarvis, Arundel's hat-trick hero the week before, jinked past several players and got a shot off. Then Lewis Jenkins had a long range effort deflected for a corner that an unmarked Jordan Dudas rifled in.
Arundel had a real go after the break. Rob Lofting with an early chance when Chi should have cleared the ball.
Five minutes later the woodwork came to the visitors' aid when a cross from Luke Heffron cannoned off Ben Pashley before Alex Biggs blasted wildly over the bar.
Rutherford introduced Rob Hutchings and David Mendes-Borges for his debut in an attempt to get his side going again but it was Arundel who took the lead on 67 minutes with a super strike from Alex Biggs whose crisp right foot shot nestled into the bottom left hand corner.
And it was soon 3-1.
Shane Brazil, the young player Arundel signed from Wick with five goals in his last four games, was fouled in the area and whilst Ender got something on Josh Biggs' pen he couldn't keep it out.
French made way for Kaleem Haitham on 74 minutes and Chi's impact sub made a difference pretty much straight away as he'd done before in games against Newhaven and Uckfield. His cross-come-shot sailed in without a touch from Hutchings at the far post to give the visitors a life-line with 12 to go.
Both sides pressed.
A slip from Williams gave Jarvis a great chance to play team mates in that he missed; a nice flick on from Hegarty got Hutchings in but his pass was cut out; Williams then cleared an effort off the line after good play from Brazil; and a Josh Clack free-kick was headed into the danger area by Lee but no one could take advantage.
Murfin should have equalised with seven minutes to go but he elected for power when clean through and his shot clipped the bar on its way over.
But he made amends moments later when Hutchings, who certainly played his part in getting Chi out of trouble, teed him up again and this time Murfin found the back of the net to make it 3-3.
And then Lee broke Arundel hearts sweeping a Clack cross in in the fourth minute of time added on with practically the last kick of the game.
The run of six clean sheets in a row might be over but City are unbeaten in seven and with the league leaders losing at home to Uckfield it felt like an early Christmas present or two for Chi.
After the match the City skipper said, “We went 1-0 up and I think we thought the game was won. We gave away a silly goal just before half time. They came out fast and we didn't get out of the changing room second half. And then I suppose the last ten minutes was when it all mattered.
“So we're delighted, in a way. But we shouldn't have made it that difficult. It's good to get the three points, certainly in the circumstances, that's for sure.
“To be honest I thought they deserved to win. We looked dead on our heels but Kaleem's goal spurred us on. We dug in and they must have switched off the last five minutes.”
Talking about his first goals for Chi, Scott Murfin said, “I didn't think I'd be taking the penalty but Josh said I could have it. It's got my confidence going. Obviously the second one was important to get us level. I would have backed myself to get the one I missed earlier when I clipped the bar. It's good I put things right just after.”
The striker added, “We didn't play well today but we've dug in and it was a massive three points. All the lads dug in. We didn't give up. We've just got to try and win as many games as possible now. Hopefully other teams will slip up. With Haywards Heath dropping points it means there's probably five or six teams who, if they put a good run together, could be title contenders.”
Coach Danny Potter said on Twitter, “That was an important three points today for us against a very competitive team. The game could have gone either way and Arundel deserved more.”
It's been a challenging week for the club for all sorts of reasons, both on and off the pitch.
Chi are at home to Horsham YMCA for the rearranged RUR Cup quarter final match this Tuesday and then entertain local rivals Pagham in the Boxing Day derby.
Chichester – Ender, Hartley, Williams, Lee, French, Hegarty, Clack, Pashley, Dolcetti, Murfin, Jones. Subs. (Haitham, Hutchings, Mendes-Borges, Killner, Ndlovu)
Courtesy of ‘Terrace Travellers’ – Review of Arundel town and the Arundel 3 v 4 Chichester City gametravelling-to-arundel
Southern Combination Premier
(Jordan Dudas, Alex Biggs, Josh Biggs)
Chichester City 4
(Scott Murfin x2, Kaleem Haitham, Jack Lee)
It has been a long two weeks without a game but I have had a super amount of university work to get finished before the Christmas break. Football has had to take a back seat whilst I completed my assignments, but with everything handed in I am back on the south coast and lining up the football matches.
First visit was a game over in Sussex. I was visiting my grandparents in Bognor Regis in the morning then continued my journey to Arundel for their game with Chichester.
I had taken to Twitter to ask what teams and grounds I should visit and Arundel came up more than once. The lure of being able to see the castle from the pitch was enough for me to venture over to Mill Road and of course take my camera (pictures on my Facebook page).
Unfortunately, as great as the views are, there was no programme or pin badge available but even so, the goals and the game made up for it, as well as a chance to practice some photography.
This was the first time watching a Southern Combination game and first time watching Arundel. This is the second time seeing Chichester City play after watching them in a 2-2 friendly draw with Salisbury in July 2016.
Mill Road is a gem. By car it isn’t the easiest place to find. I drove through the middle of Arundel and around the castle before heading down the hill towards the ground. My sat-nav said we had arrived but all I could see from the road is a bowling club and a pay & display car park. With free on road parking I pulled up and strolled back towards the big car park. If you want to park by the ground, drive onto the car park and the entrance to the ground is tucked up the corner. As it stood there was little space to park and cars were driving around the pitch and through a gate behind the main stand into some overspill parking at the Petanque club.
The ground is quaint. A little sign welcomes you to the club and you pay your admission to an elderly chap in the shed, very non-league. On entry you find yourself behind the goal. The clubhouse is on the right and still behind the goal, bar and toilets (very standard) and the main stand on the left. A small-seated area is run down but looks classic.
If you walk to the opposite goal and turn back, the castle towers over Mill Road. The main stand has a very retro feel with ‘Arundel Football Club’ written on the front giving you a real sense of where you are. Too many grounds look too generic and it can be easy to look at some photos of grounds and not have a clue where they are, especially in non-league.
On the opposite side to the stand there is a small covered standing area up the corner near the clubhouse but despite it being cold, it was a dry day and perfect for watching football.
I would love to come back here for a game where a programme and pin badge could be available. The views are incredible and certainly worth the £4 student entry. I want to thank those who recommended Mill Road to me and I would recommend any hoppers in the area to go and make the trip to see it for themselves.
Chichester City captain Jack Lee scored deep into injury time to complete an unlikely comeback to beat Arundel 4-3 in the Southern Combination Premier.
Scott Murfin had given City the lead before Jordan Dudas levelled the score before the break. Arundel scored two quick goals in the second half to command a 3-1 lead however three goals in the final 15 minutes through Kaleem Haitham, another goal from Murfin and Lee’s winner for the visitors stole the result as the death.
Dion Jarvis had a good early chance for the hosts when he collected a searching diagonal ball and fired a low shot at the near post that ‘keeper Ant Ender could only tip out for a corner.
It was the visitors who were putting the pressure on in the early exchanges with Scott Jones sending a header into the hands of French debutant goalkeeper Come Griel.
Arundel soaked up a lot of the Chichester pressure and attacked on the break with Jarvis travelling into the box and squaring the ball across the box allowing City to clear their lines.
Chichester’s Josh Clack then forced a good save from Griel when he received a diagonal ball from right back Kieran Hartley before running through on goal and firing at the ‘keeper.
The visitors were piling on the pressure and Jones forced Griel to save with his legs from low drive at goal.
Jones saw another chance blocked away when a man on the post cleared out his header for a corner. From the resulting set piece, a penalty was given for a push on one of the Chichester players by the home goalkeeper. Murfin stepped up to take the spot kick and slams the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the day on 22 minutes.
It wasn’t long before City had the ball into the back of the net again when Murfin raced through on goal, rounded the ‘keeper and slotted in, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside.
Arundel did manage to level the scores just a minute before the break through defender Dudas. The corner was swung in from the left side and it hit Dudas inside the six-yard box and trickled into the bottom corner.
After the break Arundel came out looking like the better side, spurred on by their equaliser and they almost took the lead when Lee Mottershead’s volley was blocked and landed to a team mate who smashed the ball into the box only for it to be turned onto his own crossbar by a City defender.
The visitors made a couple of changes in what was turning into a scrappy game of football with the hosts just shading the proceedings.
Lorenzo Dolcetti’s shot put the corner flag in more danger than the goal, going out for a throw in when Griel scuffed a punch clear.
Alex Biggs then scored a worthy goal of the season contender to put The Mullets in the lead on 67 minutes. Rob Lofting sent a curling ball to Alex Biggs who took the shot on the volley and across the ‘keeper and into the corner of the net.
Just seven minutes later Arundel were gifted a penalty after Shane Brazil was squashed between two Chichester defenders as he cut inside from the left wing and made inroads into the area. It was the turn of Josh Biggs to join his brother on the score sheet as he smashed in a penalty that rippled the back of the net despite Ender guessing the right way and getting fingertips to the ball.
Just a minute later City were able to reduce the deficit with a goal from substitute Haitham on 75 minutes. The number 17 lumped a deep cross into the area from the left side that managed to evade everyone and the goalkeeper and dip into the bottom corner.
The goal kick-started City’s revival and they piled men forward in search for the equaliser. The almost got it when a cheeky Murfin back heel set Rob Hutchings away on goal but his shot clipped the crossbar after beating the ‘keeper.
With four minutes of normal time remaining, Murfin managed to grab his second of the day when he slotted the ball in from close range to guarantee a point for the visitors and break Arundel’s spirits.
The winner came just two minutes later when a Chichester player took a shot into the crowded box, one team mate stepped over it and captain Jack Lee was in the right place to get a toe to the ball and send it over the line.
2017/18 Games: 41
2017/18 Grounds: 38 (9)
Total Grounds Visited: 187 (51)