Chichester CITY will want to start 2019 as they ended 2018 after heading into the new year in first place in the SCFL Premier.
Miles Rutherford’s side have had a fine year, narrowly missing out on promotion last season as well as reaching the last 16 of the FA Vase for the first time in the club’s history.
Chi have continued that form into the new campaign and, at the half way mark, sit in pole position.
They do so after an excellent 2-1 away win at local rivals Pagham on Boxing Day.
In what was a feisty encounter which saw Scott Murfin sent off and words exchanged online between fans and officials after the match, Josh Clack scored in each half to seal the win for Rutherford’s side.
The win not only secures bragging rights for another year but also ensures Chi are a point ahead of Horsham YMCA going into the new year. Next for City is a home match against struggling Arundel tomorrow (3pm) at Oaklands Park.
Rutherford will want to see a repeat of the Boxing Day display rather than what was a poor showing at home to Hassocks a few days before.
After taking a 2-0 lead through Rob Hutchings and Gicu Iordache Chi let the Robins back into the match as the visitors drew level.
Connor Cody thought he had won the match for City in the second half only for Hassocks to net a late equaliser.
Pagham meanwhile will need be tasked with finding some of their early season form again if they are push on from their current position of sixth.
After starting the season with a 15 game unbeaten run in the league, three defeats in their last four have seen them lose touch with the leaders.
Next up for Pagham is a short trip to East Preston tomorrow (3pm).
Lions will want to show the form they displayed last weekend at Lancing when an excellent attacking display sealed a 4-0 win. Howard Neighbour, Ryan Davidson, Scott Murfin and James Hubbard got the goals.
If there is a bright spot it is the return of Dan Simmonds to the side who bagged more than 40 goals in all competitions last season.
Pagham have also added Liam Hyde from Bostik South East side Horsham.