The last time Chi started the world’s oldest knock-out competition in the extra preliminary round was in 2019, and we all know what happened then – a remarkable adventure through six rounds of qualifying, beating three Step 3 sides on the way to a unique bye into the second ‘proper’ round and a trip to League One Tranmere Rovers broadcast live on BT Sport.
Missing key individuals Lloyd Rowlatt, Ryan Davidson, Ben Pashley, the suspended Emmett Dunn and Ben Mendoza still recovering from an injury City boss Miles Rutherford & Co were forced to make changes.
Rob Hutchings switched to right back with Dellaud on the other side. Connor Cody and Lewis Hyde lined up in front of Kieran Magee in the centre of the defence with debutants Tom Dinsmore and Worthing dual-signee Conrad Honore, whose sense of space and impressive distribution certainly caught the eye, in midfield. Summer-signing Olly Munt joined regulars Overton, Josh Clack and Kaleem Haitham as an attacking threat.
It was the Surrey based side who ply their trade in Premier Division South of the Combined Counties Football League that started the brighter.
Dellaud conceded the first corner of the match on three minutes and Bradley Pegg headed this back into the mix at the far post only for Monty Everett to steer his effort off target.
The hosts countered and won a corner of their own. Dinsmore found Overton who turned nicely before Clack was brought down – nothing doing according to referee Anthony Cross.
Everett, dangerous in these opening exchanges, did Hyde down the right and earned his team another corner which was whipped in and cleared on the line, or was it?, by Dellaud.
Everett wasn’t far off with a lovely volley in the eighth minute before Frimmers’ striker Ross Murdoch struck one straight at Magee.
There was a coming together of Hyde and Murdoch which the Chi CB got the better of ahead of a Munt attempt which veered away at the other end.
Next Munt picked out Clack whose effort was saved easily enough by Chris Harris.
And then Dellaud, who started and finished the move, broke the deadlock with a crisp finish after Overton combined with Clack and the No7’s delightful touch set up the opener.
Chi cranked things up – Overton headed narrowly over; Munt pressured a defender into giving away a corner; and Hyde fizzed a shot on the turn wide.
The second goal duly arrived at the mid-point when another clever Clack assist, to Overton this time, gifted last season’s top scorer his first of this campaign.
Hyde then had his shirt pulled by Murdoch as the away side probed before an Overton drive was too hot to handle for Harris and Haitham lifted the loose ball over the bar.
Hutchings coolly headed an Everett cross back to Magee and Clack was denied a penalty perhaps going down too easily.
Cody got an important foot in on the half hour mark with his defensive partner Hyde turning the ball out for a corner which Magee punched clear.
Magee’s counterpart tipped away a Chi corner and claimed the ball at the second attempt when the subsequent one was delivered.
Dinsmore tried his luck with a long-ranger seven minutes from the break and Magee calmly saved Murdoch’s tame effort following a slick passage of play between Everett and Ben Hughes.
And on the stroke of half time Hyde almost got to a Munt delivery at the back stick.
Honore’s precision ping sent Overton scampering away down the left flank only for Clack to swing and miss in the box in the first decent opportunity of the second half.
Rowen Smith then caused the Chi back line some grief with an inviting cross at the other end.
Honore was at it again getting Clack in one-on-one with Harris but he should have headed the ball beyond the out-rushing keeper.
Honore next had a shot blocked and Magee remained composed to head away.
Honore was upended in the area on 53 minutes and Mr Cross rightfully awarded the home side a pen.
Chichester didn’t win a penalty in normal time in 51 games last season but here Harris saved Clack’s spot kick superbly with his legs.
Hughes wasted a set-piece in the 57th minute and Overton lost the ball after silky skill from Munt.
A nice one-two between Overton and Haitham got Chi going again and an intelligent touch by Frimmers stand-out Everett ended in Dellaud making a fine block.
Prichard and new boy Joe Clarke replaced Haitham and Dinsmore with 20 to go and Prichard almost made an immediate impact as rapid pace allowed him to reach a long pass only to skew his attempt wide.
However, the City youngster was on the score-sheet with a cracking finish 13 minutes ahead of full time.
Another debutant, Ryan Pennery, came on for Overton for the last 10 or so and couldn’t quite get a Prichard delivery under control.
Clarke then made an outstanding tackle and Hutchings and Prichard linked up but despite great vision Prichard’s effort wouldn’t curl enough.
Magee, who’d had little to do in the second period to be fair, gathered Jordan Carter’s 86 attempt without any trouble.
Honore found Clack, who was guilty of too many step-overs, once more before Pennery wrapped it up at the death with a smart twist and finish.
Chi who play Knaphill in the next round of the FA Cup are in Kent on Saturday 13th August against newly promoted Sheppey United for the Isthmian South East curtain raiser (Kick Off 3pm).
Chichester – Magee, Hutchings, Dellaud, Dinsmore, Cody, Hyde, Clack, Honore, Overton, Munt, Haitham (Moore, Carroll, Prichard, Pennery, Bello, Clarke, Micevicios).