Chichester led twice against Step 3 side Worthing thanks to Josh Clack’s penalty and a strike from Emmett Dunn in the first half but the visitors pegged them back for a share of the spoils in an entertaining all ticket encounter at Oaklands Park.
- Clack (18')
- Dunn (38')
- Chalaye (42')
- Pearce (66')
Miles Rutherford & Co made changes to the team that lined up against Alford last time out with Ben Pashley, Matt Axell, Lloyd Rowlatt and Clack all returning to the starting XI.
There was an intensity to Chi’s performance here missing in the earlier pre-season match against the Rebels in the Dave Kew Memorial Cup that Worthing won 4-2.
The hosts had defending to do from the off and Corey Heath, who partnered Pashley at centre back, made a super tackle in the second minute to deny an early chance.
And then Clack picked out Kaleem Haitham with a lovely pass only for one of the Worthing back four to get a challenge in as Haitham jinked into the box.
Ryan Davidson had to have his wits about him when Worthing pressed once more and turned the ball out for a corner that Heath cleared.
Chichester lost Haitham to an injury only eight minutes in with 17-year-old Ethan Prichard coming on for his first team home debut.
Steve Mowthorpe was the busier of the two keepers in the opening exchanges and came out swiftly to head away and then lost a cross at his back stick but Davidson was on hand to tidy up.
The Chi No.1 claimed a delivery from the right effectively moments later before his counterpart tipped a Prichard effort over the bar after Jones’ perseverance set him up.
Dunn glanced the resulting corner just off target and Rowlatt thundered an attempt into a defender.
A well-timed tackle by Pashley got Chi on the break again and Rowlatt sent Prichard away but neither Jones or Clack could get a final touch when the ball was swung in.
Jones though was involved in the first goal from the spot in the 18th minute when he was brought down gathering an excellent ball into the box from Axell.
Clack stepped up and slotted away his third penalty in three games to give the home side the lead.
This lasted barely four minutes as Tom Chalaye slotted in a rebound off the post from Ollie Pearce’s free-kick some 25 yards out.
A couple of chances came and went for Chi on the half hour mark when Clack couldn’t keep an effort down and Rowlatt fired another over.
The hosts went ahead again in the 38th minute through a great Dunn finish as the Canadian made the most of some intelligent play by Rowlatt.
Worthing forged opportunities on the stroke of half time but Pashley made a brilliant block and Mowthorpe pulled off a fine save before calm defending by Axell and Heath ensured Chi took their 2-1 lead into the interval.
The visitors went close after the restart with an effort that flashed past Mowthorpe’s right hand post before good feet from Dunn got Chi on the attack but his pass to Prichard was too heavy.
Next the Worthing keeper managed to get behind a fierce shot from Heath and then Jones was denied as well as he dived to meet a Clack cross with a header.
Mowthorpe was called into action too, first calmly collecting a searching ball under pressure and then getting his feet to a Pearce shot on the hour, although the Rebels striker was offside.
Chi conceded two cheap free kicks. Mowthorpe got something on the first of these but Pearce grabbed the equaliser after the subsequent set-piece sixty seconds later.
Both sides made changes following the goal with Connor Cody and Rory Biggs replacing Jones and Pashley for Chichester.
The last 15 minutes were a real test for the hosts and chances came and went in this frenetic spell.
Chi hit the bar and a shot fizzed inches wide of Mowthorpe’s upright.
Then an Axell free-kick was met by Davidson but Dunn couldn’t get enough on his flick to trouble the keeper.
The home team had a set-piece to deal with as well on the edge of the box but somehow smuggled the ball away.
Rowlatt and Axell linked up nicely with seven minutes to go but a Worthing defender blocked the No.7’s shot and a clever exchange between Prichard and Clack posed another threat in the last move of the match.
Chi welcome Bognor to Oaklands Park on Friday 4th September for their final friendly.
Chichester – Mowthorpe, Davidson, Hutchings, Axell, Heath, Pashley, Rowlatt, Dunn, Jones, Clack, Haitham. Subs – (Kanjanda, Cody, Biggs, Prichard, Peake)