First Team
Isthmian League South East Mon 29 August Culver Road
  • Veneti (51')
Chichester City

Chi thumped the Lancers 4-0 at Oaklands Park about this time last year and ground out a point in a goalless encounter, that was anything but a Christmas Cracker at Culver Road in the final game of 2021, to go seventh in the table.

Miles Rutherford & Co made four changes to the starting XI that drew with Corinthian. Rob Hutchings returned at left back, Tom Dinsmore got the nod in centre-mid, as did Ethan Prichard and Olly Munt.

The hosts, without a win in three league matches, pressed high as the A27 derby got underway and Tyrone Madhani, who bagged seven goals for Chi in the previous campaign, hit one off target for his new club sixty seconds in.

Pashley made a nice tackle a couple of minutes later before a mistake set Madhani up once more but he couldn’t get the cross under control.

Jake Legrange then played an errant pass and at the other end Prichard wasn’t far away with a lovely shot on the turn.

Dinsmore, Prichard, Davidson and Overton combined only for Faris Khallouqi to rob the ball off Overton and spurn an opportunity.

Misplaced and overhit passes featured regularly in the opening 15 as both teams struggled to click.

Lloyd Rowlatt was well in though on Louis Veneti and Lancing won the first corner which Marcus Allen whipped over to Madhani whose header was steered out for another one on the other side.

Pashley pinged a pass to Overton but a poor touch meant he failed to get it under.

Next, Lancing smuggled away a Munt free-kick after Prichard was impeded before Veneti broke and Emmett Dunn tidied up.

Chi No1 Kieran Magee finally gathered following a bit of pinball when Darius Goldsmith delivered a set-piece and Pashley intervened ahead of Magee to clear Mo Zabadne’s cross.

Magee’s counterpart Secka was off his line smartly and beat Overton to Hutchings’ raking pass and a silky twist by Prichard got him past his marker only to get dispossessed.

Madhani then found Finn Daniels-Yeomans as the Lancers countered but the No4 struck his effort straight at Magee on the half hour mark.

Moments later Zabadne went through Prichard without caution and Davidson drove forwards only to put too much on his pass intended for skipper Josh Clack.

And then Chi lost Overton after a lengthy spell of treatment following a coming together with Secka, and summer-signing Ryan Pennery replaced last season’s top scorer.

Davidson then tried to pick Clack but Allen nipped in and conceded a throw before the Chichester left back was wiped out by Zabadne.

Munt, Hutchings and Dinsmore were all involved in the subsequent set-piece, one off the training-ground, which Lancing managed to clear before the visitors earned their first corner in additional time that Hutchings swung in.

Pennery got a talking to from referee Dan D’Urso for an infringement and Lancing wasted the resulting free-kick just before the half time whistle.

Kaleem Haitham came on for Prichard at the break and was involved in Chi’s first attack after the restart when Munt found Pennery whose delicious flick teed up Haitham for a shot he couldn’t quite get off.

Clack fouled Goldsmith as the hosts probed and Dunn hacked the subsequent free-kick away.

And then Veneti grabbed the decisive goal unusually turning Davidson inside out on 51 minutes.

The game’s next talking point came barely a minute later when Davidson and Zabane both went for the ball in a challenge that divided opinion and led to a melee and some theatrics which saw Mr D’Urso brandish two yellows and one red.

Whether reckless or full-blooded, Davidson caught Zabadne, and received a booking, whereas Pashley, who was playing peace-keeper, got his marching orders for violent conduct according to the referee.

The away side rejigged with Joe Clarke coming on at centre back for Munt.

Davidson then found a marauding Hutchings with a diag down the left flank but his cross was steered clear before Rowlatt and Clack combined only for Secka to claim.

Madhani then picked out Reece Hallard for an acrobatic attempt and Madhani had a go himself with an effort that didn’t curl enough.

Clack was inches away at the other end after good work from Davidson.

Next, Madhani got in behind Hutchings and Hallard blazed one high.

A subsequent Lancers’ attack resulted in a bit of pinball which somehow ended up in Magee’s gloves before Chichester broke through Rowlatt and Clack to win a 74th minute corner.

Clack’s improvisation saw an effort fizz over the frame of the goal and a stretching Rowlatt was beaten to the ball by Secka.

Haitham then did a little too much driving into the box; Dunn and Legrange both got away with one after they crashed into each other; and Rowlatt received physio for a twisted leg.

Magee blocked match winner Veneti’s fierce shot with six to go and then outstanding defending by Secka and a teammate denied Rowlatt an equaliser.

And another opportunity for a share of the spoils came and went when Davidson found Pennery with a towering header but the ball got caught up under the Chi sub’s feet and the chance went begging.

So, it’s five points from twelve in the opening four Isthmian south east games for City.

Chi are back in FA Cup action on Saturday 3rd September away in a first qualifying round tie at Leatherhead (Kick Off 3pm).

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