Chichester City make it 27 goals in eight games against Hassocks

Action from Hassocks v Broadbridge Heath on the opening day of the league season
Action from Hassocks v Broadbridge Heath on the opening day of the league season

Chichester City must lick their lips every time they see the name Hassocks on the fixture list. Before Tuesday nights game at the Beacon, they'd won six of the last seven meetings between the two, racking up 21 goals along the way.

They improved that impressive record even further, a 6-0 blitz taking it to seven wins from eight with 27 scored. It also solidified their position in many peoples minds as market leaders for the Southern Combination League title this season.

It was Hassocks who had ended Chi's title hopes at the back end of last season. The Robins shock 2-1 win at Oaklands Park in the final few weeks of the season ensuring that Miles Rutherford's side were mathematically eliminated from the race.

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Fast forward four months and for the opening 25 minutes at least, it looked as though a similar upset could be on the cards.

Hassocks' young side battled gamely in the Mid Sussex rain against their visitors with there being little to pick between the two sides.

Indeed, a casual observer wouldn't have been able to tell you which one was the club expected to put in a genuine tilt for honours this season and which one was only playing in the division because of a relegation reprieve at the end of the last.

Dan Stokes for Spencer Slaughter was the only change to the Hassocks line up from the opening weekends 1-1 draw with Broadbridge Heath and Stokes and Matt Berridge were particularly impressive in the centre of midfield during that opening spell as Hassocks showed great control on the ball.

Neither side had managed to create a clear cut chance with just a couple of long range efforts each that failed to test either Alex Harris or his opposite number Jordan Matthews before Chi took the lead with half an hour played.

It was a disappointing goal to concede from a Hassocks point of view, Harry Mills diverting a free kick towards his own goal but still it looked like Harris should've done better than the parry that he produced which left a simple tap in for Scott Jones.

Conceding soft goals against opponents as good as Chi is one thing you can't afford to do. Letting your heads drop after it happens is another and five minutes later, Hassocks were punished for making that mistake when a cross from the left was turned in by Dave Herbert.

The Robins made it to the break without anymore mishaps and it didn't feel at that stage like they were out of the game, providing they could keep getting Stokes, Berridge and Jake Lindsey on the ball and try and fashion a chance for Liam Benson against a well organised Chi defence.

By the time the clock reached the hour mark however, any Hassocks hopes of taking something from in tie were over as Chi's summer signing from Broadbridge Heath, Gicu Iordache grabbed his first goals in white and green with a quick fire brace to make it 4-0.

Hassocks introduced a summer signing of their own as Phil Johnson received a rapturous reception from the home faithful when replacing Jake Lindsey for his first appearance since rejoining from Horsham YMCA.

Johnson's presence did at least seem to galvanise the Robins for the final 25 minutes as they recovered some of the composure on the ball they'd shown in that decent opening spell.

Off the ball though there is plenty of work to be done for Mark Dalgleish and his coaching staff as Hassocks ended up conceding twice more as substitutes Jimmy Wild and Rob Hutchings climbed off the bench to net in the 75th and 89th minutes respectively.

Hassocks: Harris; Mills, Badger, Wesbter, Bant; Wilkins, Stokes, Berridge, Lindsey; Spinks; Benson.

Subs: Johnson (Lindsey), Blake (Berridge), Slaughter (Mills), Broomfield, Galbraith-Gibbons (unused).