Joe Denny’s 90th minute winner denied Chichester a much-deserved point in Kent after he latched on to Lewis Chambers’ long throw-in late on and headed the ball past Kieran Magee before wheeling away to celebrate with the Faversham fans in front of their clubhouse.
- Campbell (34')
- Denny (90')
- Prichard (47')
The hosts had gone in front on 38 minutes through new boy Roman Campbell before Ethan Prichard levelled moments into the second half.
Chi were without centre backs Connor Cody and Corey Heath together with midfielders Lloyd Rowlatt and Jamie Horncastle that featured in the FA Cup preliminary qualifying round 3-1 victory over Winchester last time out.
Other absentees included Rob Hutchings, Ryan Davidson, Rory Biggs, Matt Axell and striker Callum Overton but the Sussex side, with coach Danny Potter named amongst the substitutes, started brightly enough and took charge of the game in the opening 20 minutes or so.
Miles Rutherford & Co brought in Adam Biss and Tyrone Madhani from Gosport and Bognor respectively and a pass from the latter sent Gicu Iordache on a mazy run where he drifted past three players only for the move to break down.
Scott Jones then dragged a shot wide and at the other end skipper Ben Pashley did well to deflect Campbell’s effort away for a corner that came to nothing.
Prichard won a corner for Chi after nice link up play between Biss, Madhani and Kaleem Haitham before Madhani lifted a set-piece narrowly over the frame of the goal in the 10th minute.
Matt Bourne was yellow-carded for a heavy challenge on Haitham and Pashley ghosted in but couldn’t get a connection on Iordache’s free-kick.
Next some super skill from Haitham set up another opportunity for the visitors and then Emmett Dunn made an excellent tackle to snuff out the danger as Faversham countered.
Manny Oluwasemo then blazed over following Donvieve Jones’ break down the right flank and Magee came out to claim a cross from Jones.
Chambers and Sam Bewick combined effectively but Magee tipped Bewick’s fierce attempt brilliantly round his left-hand post.
The hosts were getting a foothold in the game and Bewick whipped the resulting corner over for Chambers to head off target on the half hour mark.
Another Bewick corner was headed just wide before the Faversham No7 lifted a set-piece into Chi’s penalty area and Campbell got to the loose ball first and directed it past Magee.
Dunn might have made it all square in the 39th minute only to fire over.
The equaliser came two minutes into the second half when Prichard, who’d put Chi 2-0 up against Winchester, rifled a sweet strike beyond Luke Watkins that nestled into the right-hand corner of the net.
An exchange between Prichard and Dunn saw a cross-cum-shot fizz over the bar before Iordache forced Watkins into a smart save.
Jones wasted a glorious opportunity from this taking a header away from Pashley.
Magee was called into action by sub Luis Dos Santos and then a nice interception from Flori Vucaj denied Bewick after Iordache had been dispossessed.
Lewis Hyde blocked Bewick’s next effort and fellow Chi defenders smuggled the ball away when Campbell tried a shot on the turn.
It was Hyde’s last contribution to the match and youngster Joe Moore came on.
Faversham’s Jones then robbed Haitham but his delivery was headed clear, Dos Santos skewed one wide and Chichester’s Jones, who’d dropped back to the centre of defence to partner Pashley, did well to tidy up a long ball intended for Campbell.
The visitors regularly had Chambers’ long throws to deal with in a second period that was nothing like the pulsating FA Cup game the previous week with Faversham seemingly happy to manage the clock.
Jones cleared one of these throw-ins easily enough before another Bewick set-piece gave Magee something to think about after Denny was fouled.
Abdul Lyoubi and Dunn both got yellows for a bit of handbags and then Denny grabbed all the points for his team with a heart-breaking stoppage time header to send his side up to second place on goal difference behind league leaders Haywards Heath.
Potter said, “48 hours beforehand we thought we had our squad sorted. We trained well on Thursday night and were getting prepared for the game. And then we ended up losing nine first team players for all sorts of reasons who could have arguably all started.
Miles did incredibly well drafting in a couple of players and we’re very fortunate to have good relationships with Bognor and Gosport.
We held our own to start with and kept the ball well. They sat in and made it hard for us to play through the middle. We were patient and the only error we made was from the set-piece where we lost a runner and we weren’t good enough in the six-yard box to clear our lines and they went 1-0 up.
They were direct. They’ve got a player with a long throw and are organised on set-pieces. They’re physical and one or two of their players are very good in the air.
We re-grouped in the second half. Ethan Prichard scored the goal of the game. It was a fantastic strike.
Losing Lewis Hyde to injury with 20 minutes to go didn’t help. Scott Jones dropped back to centre back and we knew we were going to be soaking up pressure. Late in the game they had a number of set-pieces and we lost our ability to hold the ball up further up the pitch.
Then their No6 comes storming into the box and scores a great header to be fair.
It’s gutting for us to lose in that fashion but we’ll react and pick ourselves up.
We’ve got a league game against Lancing coming up and are away at Northwood in the FA Cup.
We know what we’ve got to do. We’ve only played two league games and we’re still in August. Myself, Miles, Graeme and Dabba will sit down this week. Things will get better for us. We’ll turn things round, find momentum and keep it”.
Chi welcome Lancing to Oaklands Park on Tuesday 31st August (Kick Off 7:45pm).
Chichester – Magee, Dunn, Vucaj, Biggs, Hyde, Pashley, Prichard, Madhani, Jones, Iordache, Haitham. Subs: (Moore, Potter, Carroll)