First Team
FA Cup Preliminary Round Sat 20 August Oaklands Park
Chichester City
  • Honore (50')
  • Own Goal (80')

Midfield maestro Lloyd Rowlatt returned to the starting XI and his measured through ball in the first minute sent Ryan Pennery away to find an overlapping Rob Hutchings whose decent cross was smuggled clear by the visitors’ back line.

Rowlatt then picked out Olly Munt and the Chi No10 had a go.

Knaphill striker George Pilbeam was booked early doors before Ethan Prichard, who came off the bench mid-week to set up Kaleem Haitham’s winner in the 1-0 victory over Burgess Hill, struck a fierce shot that came back off the inside of a post five minutes in.

Munt was at it again moments later with a super hit which gave Knaphill keeper Jos Barker something to think about ahead of another fine attempt by Prichard.

Pilbeam either backed into Ben Pashley or the Chi CB impeded him. Whatever, referee Ian Lane saw it as the latter and awarded the away team a free-kick which came to nothing.

A sloppy pass allowed Matt Kellet-Smith and Owen Tanner to probe down the right flank but Rowlatt got in a block as Knaphill won a throw.

Then Hutchings’ volley flashed narrowly over the bar before Rowlatt joined Pilbeam in Mr Lane’s notepad for a crude challenge.

Munt’s training ground corner to Pennery at the front post didn’t come off and at the other end in a rare raid Jake Woods might have got in only for Canadian Emmett Dunn to hold him off well and shepherd the ball back to Chi keeper Kieran Magee.

It all got a bit walking football after the mid-point, lacking the effervescence of Tuesday’s Isthmian encounter with the Hillians.

The Step 5 Surrey based side who ply their trade in the Combined Counties League Premier Division South seemed happy to sit but Tanner instigated a break on 25 minutes only for Pashley to head clear.

Next, Jack Williamson lifted a set-piece in which Magee punched out for a corner that Williamson also took and Hutchings steered away.

Magee launched one upfield towards Pennery who gained a throw-in after some trickery.

Prichard’s cross was gathered easily enough by Barker; Davidson and skipper Josh Clack combined but Davidson’s delivery was too close to the Knaphill No1; Pennery was flagged offside; and Davidson couldn’t get Clack’s cross down.

Then Woods broke through only for Magee to comfortably gather Kellet-Smith’s ball in.

With half time of a rather turgid opening 45 approaching Arron Burchett was outpaced by Hutchings in a foot-race and Joe Dyett headed a Williamson corner off target.

Munt forged Chi’s first chance after the re-start when an exchange between Rowlatt and Pennery teed him up for a shot that was blocked before Honore, who’s been different gravy, put the hosts in front with a delightful finish.

The Worthing duel-signee opened up the centre of the park in the 50th minute, played a neat one-two with Munt and found the back of the net.

Pilbeam then dragged a drive wide; Kellet-Smith had a set-piece headed clear by Clack; and Stacey Thripp lifted one over.

Both dugouts rang the changes on the hour mark – Haitham replaced Munt and Nathan Thomas came on for Woods.

A silky turn by Honore got him away on a mazy run only to cross disappointingly.

Kellet-Smith fouled Haitham in the next attack. Rowlatt stroked the resulting free-kick to Honore who moved the ball on to Davidson only for Zac Horkan to defend effectively.

Magee then claimed a corner after Hutchings played Pashley into trouble.

With 20 to go Pennery picked out Clack but no one could get to what was an inviting cross.

Eric-Georges Dellaud, who scored the opener in the extra-preliminary round of the competition against Frimley Green, was introduced for Hutchings before Haitham had a shot blocked.

Dellaud then whipped a corner over which was taken off Dunn’s head and Pennery was oddly adjudged offside by a referee’s assistant.

Prichard wasn’t far away with an effort on 79 minutes just before Davidson, receiving a pass from Clack, fizzed in a super cross which Kellet-Smith inadvertently steered into his own net

It might have been 3-0 sixty seconds later but Barker got his angles right with Haitham one-on-one.

The Knaphill stopper then failed to keep the ball in play but Dellaud over-hit his consequent corner kick.

Prichard earned another one with three minutes left which Chi wasted and Clack had a bullet header blocked in time added on before Barker saved a tame attempt.

So, Chi, who picked up a second clean sheet of the week, are in the hat for the FA Cup first qualifying round.

Next up at Oaklands Park is a league match against Corinthian on Saturday 27th August (Kick Off 3pm).

Chichester – Magee, Davidson, Hutchings, Honore, Dunn, Pashley, Clack, Rowlatt, Pennery, Munt, Prichard (Dellaud, Haitham, Dinsmore, Overton, Clarke, Hyde, Carroll).