First Team
FA Cup First Round Qualifying Sat 3 September Fetcham Grove
  • Buchanan (37')
Chichester City
  • Prichard (45')
  • Clack (47')

Miles Rutherford & Co made four changes to the starting XI that lined up against Lancing last time out with former Bristol Rovers academy player Adam Biss, who featured for Chi in one match last season away at Faversham, in centre mid alongside the hard-working Joe Clarke. Lewis Hyde replaced Ben Pashley in the heart of the back four and Kaleem Haitham got the nod out wide.

It was the hosts, who had a memorable 1974-75 run in the world’s oldest knock-out competition beating Brighton & Hove Albion in the third round before losing 3-2 to Leicester City at Filbert Street in the next stage with Chris Kelly the ‘Leatherhead Lip’ becoming a household name, that started brightest, absolutely battering Chichester in the opening 10 minutes or so.

Keeper Kieran Magee was out smartly to beat Will Hellestoe to an inviting cross before Emmett Dunn blocked Elliott Buchanan’s effort moments later.

And then an over-zealous challenge by Rob Hutchings on Hellestoe, giving him a torrid time down the right flank, gave Leatherhead a set-piece which Josh Webb whipped in only for it to spoon off a defender and finally get cleared.

Next, Ryan Davidson made a fine recovery tackle after Webb and Keane Anderson combined and super skill and a dropped shoulder from Dave Tarpey set up a shot which Magee turned out for the first corner of the game.

Prichard might have got in on seven minutes at the other end but the Tannners’ custodian Luke Williams bravely cleared.

Hyde then conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box that Buchanan curled round the wall and into Magee’s gloves.

Hellestoe got beyond Hutchings again only to fire over a wayward cross and Clack forced Williams into a save of sorts with a weak drive.

Biss, who certainly caught the eye, nearly picked out Prichard down by the corner flag but the Chi No11 couldn’t get the ball under control.

Clack then burst through. Prichard’s run offered an option but Clack elected to pass to Haitham who failed to shoot first-time.

Dunn steered away Tarpey’s 17th minute delivery as the hosts pressed once more and Adam Allen posed a threat only for the ball to get smuggled away.

Biss wasn’t far off with a decent hit at the mid-point and Jerry O’Sullivan received a yellow for a foul on Haitham.

Olly Munt sent in a cross following a neat free-kick that no one got to after Davidson was impeded before Biss charged through the centre of the park and almost found Clack with a quality pass.

Leatherhead then broke the deadlock on 38 minutes when Hutchings’ poor clearance fell kindly to Buchanan who lashed it into the bottom right hand corner.

As a consequence, Eric-Georges Dellaud came on for Chi at left back and Biss was in the right place at the right time to steer Anderson’s cross out for a corner which came to nothing.

Haitham spurned an opportunity with a header at the back stick and more composure would have been welcome from Prichard when he passed up two chances to curl the ball round Williams on 43.

And then Allen picked Munt’s pocket and found Buchanan only for Magee to glove his effort on to the post and back safely into his arms.

Prichard levelled things up a minute later with an incredible goal after he gassed his hapless marker who tried to pull him down.

Referee Joel Lamping played advantage and Prichard beat Williams from some distance.

Once Clack had put Chi 2-1 up just after the interval turning the loose ball in after Williams saved Haitham’s initial attempt, it was all you shall not pass stuff from the visitors.

Davidson, Dunn and Hyde made header after header after header and everyone to a man dug in with a collective performance in stark contrast to the insipid Bank Holiday one against Lancing in the league.

Magee was forced into a catalogue of saves and pulled off an awesome triple block to deny first O’Sullivan and then two fierce Tappey efforts five minutes in.

Next, Dunn steered away Briggs Ojeman’s cross before Tarpey cracked one against the stanchion.

Clack blazed a drive high and wide; Dunn, not for the last time, made a towering header to get Chichester out of trouble; and Munt dispossessed Webb to launch a raid which fizzled out.

The Chi captain, possibly offside, broke and rounded Williams but couldn’t direct the ball in before Clarke tidied up when Webb and Ojemon attacked.

A lovely touch from Munt saw him play Prichard in, although he didn’t beat Williams.

Lloyd Rowlatt replaced Munt and made a number of telling interventions in his 25-odd minutes or so on the field.

Webb went close with an effort that deflected off a defender for a corner before Tarpey was somehow denied when his fierce attempt came down off the crossbar and away.

Biss won the ball back moments later and Rowlatt got things going with a pass to Haitham who pinged in a good cross.

It was all Leatherhead now, forging a catalogue of corners and passing up chance after chance as Chi led a charmed life.

Anderson had a shot firmly blocked and Magee made an excellent save to deny Tarpey before denying Buchanan not once but twice.

Biss was replaced by Ryan Pennery with nine to go and the Chi sub was involved in a move with Haitham and Prichard who swiped one over.

Dunn then cleared another Webb delivery and Magee claimed a long Ojeman throw before gathering Anderson’s effort which nicked off a teammate.

Rowlatt intercepted Tom Bird’s pass ahead of some once in a lifetime pinball in the visitors’ box that the Tanners failed to capitalise on.

Ojemon blew a cross-cum-shot in the first minute of the five added on and it looked like Prichard would make it 3-1 on 94 only for Williams to save.

Williams came up for a last chance saloon corner; Ojemon wasted another opportunity and Magee was booked for time wasting in the 97th minute just before Mr Lamping brought things to a close.

There were some ugly scenes between players and fans after the full time whistle.

Chi are back in FA Trophy action next on Saturday 10th September at home to Faversham (Kick Off 3pm).

Chichester – Magee, Davidson, Hutchings, Biss, Hyde, Dunn, Haitham, Clarke, Clack, Munt, Prichard (Pennery, Rowlatt, Dellaud, Moore, Bello, Carroll).