First Team
Velocity Cup First Round Tue 27 September Oaklands Park
Chichester City
  • Rowlatt (40')
  • Prichard (51')
Burgess Hill
  • Duah-Kessie (74')

Miles Rutherford & Co made six changes to the starting XI that featured last time out in the 1-1 draw away at Littlehampton in the league as Rowlatt returned following an injury lay-off; Ben Pashley came back to CB after a suspension; Eric-Georges Dellaud, Olly Munt and Ben Mendoza got the nod; and youngster Isaac Bello, who shone all night, was given a first start up top.

The hosts grabbed their only Isthmian South East win, so far, this campaign, against the Hillians in the second league game of the season at Oaklands Park in August.

A composed Ethan Robb, partnering Pashley in the heart of the Chi defence, kept cool early doors to tidy up a third minute Hill attack before a lovely twist and turn by Bello led to slick passes between Dellaud and Joe Clarke only for Munt to misplace a through ball to Mendoza.

Then Dellaud almost found Prichard and Mendoza had a shot blocked.

Moments later Bello made a well-timed challenge to break things up and Pashley got in effectively ahead of Hill striker Dan Perry to shepherd the ball back to keeper Kieran Magee.

A Munt foul on Reggie Ward gave the visitors a free-kick in a dangerous area and the loose ball eventually spooned off Harry Pollard only to be punched away under his bar by Magee.

The Chi custodian then made another punch of sorts under pressure from Perry to concede a corner which Charlie Kelly took and Dellaud headed clear.

Next, Sam Remfry struck an effort that Magee held on to well-enough before Prichard’s decent hit forced Hill keeper Enos Duah to parry.

Ben Delisle, Ward and Kelly hooked up as the away side probed again in a move that was thwarted by Rowlatt’s intervention.

Prichard turned his marker and put a cross in after a precision pass from Dellaud.

Cries of “You’re just a small town in Sussex” by the Oaklands Park faithful were met with “You’re just a bus stop near Fishbourne” from the visiting fans and at the mid-point Duah dealt with Mendoza’s attempt.

Chi captain Connor Cody then got burned down the left by Kelly but both Robb and Pashley made telling blocks to deny a couple of efforts.

The game kicked into life as Mendoza spurned the best opportunity, trying to delicately lift the ball over Duah when in one-on-one only for it to drift wide.

The hosts had the ball in the back of the net seconds later after an outstanding piece of control by Bello with his chest. However, an assistant chalked it off for offside.

Ward then brought a fine save out of Magee with a super shot that Magee got down to at his near post.

Hill right back Brad Santos did well to snuff out a Chi move when the mercurial Rowlatt played a tremendous pass to Mendoza before Duah got something on Bello’s attempt after Mendoza teed him up.

And Rowlatt forced Duah into another stop on 32 minutes as he palmed the ball away before Cody got a touch and Duah steered his prod out for a corner.

Munt took it short to Rowlatt whose curling effort wasn’t far off.

Next, Clarke opened up the middle of the park with a determined run drifting past player after player, but he couldn’t find a finish before Prichard won Chi a corner five minutes ahead of the interval which led to the opening goal – an impressive drive into the bottom left hand corner by Rowlatt.

The centre midfielder, a stand-out individual in the first 45, then made a great tackle to deny a Burgess Hill response on the stroke of half -time.

Hill brought on JJ Minty for Kelly at the break and a pin-point ping from Dellaud set Prichard up for a cut back which was cut out.

The ball then nearly popped up for Prichard as Duah tried to clear.

There was nothing the Hillians’ keeper could do though on 51 minutes when Clarke found Prichard with a slide-rule pass and the No11 grabbed his fourth goal of the season to double Chi’s advantage.

Next, Clarke intercepted a through ball intended for Minty and threaded it back to Magee.

A corner won by Kieran Rowe was recycled but smuggled away by Chichester defenders.

Rowlatt then rode a challenge only to drag his attempt off target before a Burgess Hill double-substitution saw Zack Lawrance and Duah-Kessie replace Charlie Pitcher and Delisle.

The hosts rang changes of their own on the hour mark as Emmett Dunn and Joe Moore came on for Cody and Rowlatt.

A delicious dummy by Mendoza to Munt’s pass almost got Chi in and an expansive move from the hosts forced Pollard to clear ahead of Duah.

Remfry cracked one 20 minutes in that Magee took at a comfortable height and Ward did well to hold Bello off from getting to an inviting punt by Magee.

Duah-Kessie’s goal on 74 minutes set up a tense finale.

Lewis Hyde, who’d replaced Robb, stooped in to almost get a connection on Munt’s corner kick before Remfry drilled a set-piece wide at the other end.

Hill sub Hayden Skerry, on for Perry, then smashed a shot against the woodwork before Santos saw yellow, when it might have been red on another night, for a crude challenge on Munt.

Duah-Kessie was adjudged marginally offside as Hill looked for an equaliser; a corner for the visitors came to nothing; Clarke, not for the last time, got Chi out of trouble; and Rowe went close with a long-ranger.

In the five minutes added on a heart in your mouth moment came and went as Skerry appeared to have played Duah-Kessie in, but once again the assistant’s flag went up for offside.

Chi are back in league action next as they welcome Faversham Town to Oaklands Park on Saturday 1st October (Kick Off 3pm).

Chichester – Magee, Cody, Delluad, Clarke, Robb, Pashley, Rowlatt, Mendoza, Bello, Munt, Prichard (Moore, Dunn, Clack, Hyde, Haitham).