By Anthony Scott
With only three Premier Division fixtures in the Southern Combination Football League, Chichester City moved within five points of leaders Shoreham after a win against Peacehaven.
Josh Clack gave Chi a half-time lead, before an own goal and a late double from Scott Jones saw Miles Rutherford’s side stamp their authority on third spot.
Pagham moved up to fourth after a narrow win at Newhaven. Joe Shelley scored the only goal of the match just two minutes from time to give the Lions a 1-0 win at the Trafalgar Ground.
In the division’s other game, Toby House scored a brace as Loxwood won 3-0 at home to Crawley Down Gatwick. After a goalless first half, the young forward helped the Magpies to a comfortable win at Plaistow Road, with Matt Daniel also on target.
It’s as you were at the top end of Division One as the top three all won. Little Common continue to lead the way, but only on goal difference, after they came from behind to beat bottom of the table Ringmer. Luke Donaldson and Jack Webber goals put the Blues 2-0 ahead at the break, but only for the league leaders to turn the game around in the second half. Dan Cruikshank halved the deficit, before a brace from Lewis Hole saw Common win 3-2 at the Caburn.
Saltdean United remain second after a 3-0 win over Storrington. Scott Marshall, Andy McDowell and Craig Hall were all on target for the Tigers and Hill Park.
Steyning Town complete the top three after coming from behind to win at Seaford Town. Joey Pout had given Scott Osborne’s side the lead 20-minutes in, only for Scott Faber, Rob Clark and then Craig Knowles to see the Barrowmen run out 3-1 winners at the Crouch.
Dan Huet scored three goals, but one in the wrong net as East Preston saw off Mile Oak at the Lashmar. The striker scored a brace for the hosts either side of an own goal in a 2-1 win which sees Bob Paine’s side move up to fourth.
AFC Varndeanians put daylight between themselves and the bottom two with just their third win of the season away at Langney Wanderers. Despite Paul Rogers giving the hosts an early lead, Freddie Barker and then Craig Bunch scored for Ryan Gayler’s men to give them a 2-1 win.
Lingfield stay sixth despite an emphatic win at Selsey. Sam Bell scored a hat-trick for Rob O’Shaughnessy’s side, with Brett Caiger and Thomas Stead completing the scoring for the visitors in a 5-1 win at the Bunn Leisure Stadium.
Midhurst & Easebourne came from two goals down to earn a point at Southwick. Dean Smith and Joe Bidwell had put the hosts on course for three points, but Laurence Hyde and Gary Norgate efforts saw the Stags leave with a point in a 2-2 draw.
In the division’s other game, Jack Nourse’s late goal earned Oakwood a point at Bexhill United. Drew Greenall had given the Pirates an early lead at The Polegrove.
There were just three league games in Division Two due to postponements and the Intermediate Cup, with Lancing United up to fourth after edging a five goal game against Clymping. Joe Chandler had put the visitors ahead at the Croshaw Ground, only for Neil Munday, Mark O’Regan and Brad Hunt goals seeing United win 3-2.
They go above Westfield after they were held to a draw by Rustington. Chris Darwin had put the Blues ahead early on, only for Aaron Cochrane to earn the hosts a point with a 1-1 draw at the Parish Field.
In the division’s other game, Ferring’s woes continued with a 13-0 loss at Montpelier Villa. Dave MacNeil scored five of the hosts’ goals, with braces coming from Todd Brennan and Scott Allison. An own goal, Simon Whitney, Trevor Wilson and Sean Honey completed the scoring for Villa.