East Preston boss Vic Short conceded the County League title to Chichester today.

A late goal by Tony Stephens gave hosts Chichester a 1-0 win last night and put them five points clear at the top.

East Preston still have a game in hand but Short cannot see Chi dropping any more points.

He said: "I think Chichester will go on and win it now which leaves us battling for the runners-up spot.

"They have Sidley twice, Sidlesham and Shoreham to play. I really can't see them losing but you don't know.

"We have just got to make sure we are near enough if they do slip up."

Chichester manager Adie Girdler was not so ready to state the importance of this victory.

He said: "We have got another hard game against Sidlehsam on Monday. They will want to come and upset us.

"It is just one game at a time and this is a step in the right direction.

"I can't let my players think we have won the league already because we haven't. We can only do that by winning our next four games."

The only goal came three minutes from time when Scott Murfin controlled a cross and flicked it on for Stephens to drill the ball into the bottom corner.

Just before that, East Preston had a golden chance to win it when Simon Clayton charged down a clearance from the home goalkeeper but defender Ben Hitchman made a great saving tackle to deny the lurking Dave Walker.

The visitors' gamble to play leading scorer Matt Huckett did not work as he hobbled off injured after 20 minutes.

Girdler said: "We deserved to win. We dominated the second half."