A brace from Josh Clack, along with a peach of a free kick from Dave Herbert meant Chichester City saw off East Preston despite a late scare.
Chi started the stronger side, as winger Kaleem Haitham delivered a dangerous ball which Jones narrowly missed, with it ending up at the feet of Clack who could only put his shot wide.
Scott Slaughter then missed a golden chance for the visitors, stabbing his effort wide after a long throw, the likes of which was a clear threat throughout the game.
The sides have met twice before this season, with Chi winning in the league and East Preston victorious in the cup. With this in mind City pushed on, Ben Pashley volleying wide from a Gicu Lorearche corner.
Lewis Jenkins then went on a driving run, sending a pass to Asa Nicholson, who’s cross was cleared away thanks to a last ditch tackle from Ryan Peake.
The deadlock was broken after 25 minutes when Scott Jones nipped in front of a Preston defender, resulting in a penalty. Clack stepped up and made no mistake, tucking it away to the keepers left.
Daniel Huet tried to reply instantly, but his shot flew over the bar into the tennis courts.
Clack, who was busy all game, put in a delicious ball which Jones met at the back post, only to see his header rebound off the crossbar.
City doubled their lead after a scintillating counter attack. Haitham, who was found by Peake, squared it to Gicu, and he unselfishly set up Clack who slotted the ball away.
Half Time: City 2-0 East Preston
City started the second half as they had finished the first, and would have had their third if it wasn’t for Slaughter, who denied Clack his hattrick.
Rob Hutchings went on a run and fancied his chances but his shot powered over the bar. However, minutes later Chi did have their third, after a scrumptious free kick from Herbert gave the visiting keeper, George Bentley no chance.
Chi captain, Conor Cody, whipped a great cross into the danger area, but Jones could only head straight at Bentley.
City looked comfortable, with Clack firing wide and Gicu smashing the crossbar after skilfully getting out of a tricky situation.
Huet grabbed what looked like a consolation, however moments later Nicholson notched up a second in quick succession to set up an anxious finish to what had otherwise been a comfortable game for City.
City managed to play out the final moments and seal victory, and with results going their way elsewhere, it is a very important three points at the top of the table.
Chi are next in action on the weekend as they travel to Peacehaven.