First Team
Isthmian League South East Sat 1 October Oaklands Park
Chichester City
  • Haitham (37')
Faversham Town
  • Own Goal (6')

Miles Rutherford & Co made five changes to the starting XI that lined up against Burgess Hill in the mid-week Velocity Cup encounter with Ryan Davidson, Rob Hutchings, Emmett Dunn, Josh Clack and Haitham all returning.

The visitors, who knocked Chi out of the FA Trophy a few weeks ago, came into the match languishing in the basement of the Isthmian south east division at this early stage.

Right back Davidson was given the first bit of defending to do as Josh McFaull probed down the flank.

And then moments later a cross from the left was too long for Lloyd Rowlatt and Ethan Prichard had a hit blocked before the Chi No11 took a touch too much as he shimmied this way and that on the edge of the box.

The hosts fell behind on six minutes courtesy of the oddest of own goals when Ethan Robb’s firm square pass deflected off fellow CB Connor Cody and beyond a hapless keeper Kieran Magee.

Toby Bancroft then wasted a set-piece for the away side and Davidson won Chichester the first corner which Haitham played short to Rowlatt who drilled an effort just off target.

Faversham earned a corner kick at the other end that McFaull struck deep.

Chi conceded a subsequent corner after sloppy play at the back. Bradley Schafer’s delivery was much better and Magee managed to get a glove on it.

Matt Bourne rose above Dunn to the next one but headed downwards and wide.

Hutchings wasn’t far off with a drive 17 minutes in before Prichard’s cross was turned for a Haitham corner which didn’t get past the first man.

Faversham shot stopper Leighton Fanshawe came out smartly to beat Haitham to a Prichard through ball and gathered at the second attempt.

Then Hutchings lashed an effort and Haitham passed up the opportunity to shoot first time.

The visitors lost Dan Carrington on the half hour mark – Tom Carlton coming on in his place.

Moments later man of the match Joe Clarke pulled a fine stop out of Fanshawe without fully putting his laces through his strike before Haitham was in the right place at the right time to level things up with the simplest of finishes after Clack fizzed a cross into the danger zone.

Hutchings was penalised less than sixty seconds later for a soft foul on Junior Aikhionbare. Schafer took the free-kick and Connor Wilkins headed it into the mixer.

Clack had a shot on the turn as the clock ticked down; a super ping from Robb found Clack whose delivery caused little trouble; Clarke pulled another save out of Fanshawe; and Prichard wasn’t far off as well.

Two glorious chances came and went for a profligate Chi in the four minutes of additional time as Prichard couldn’t keep his effort down and Clack ballooned one over the bar.

Cody fouled Aikhionbare in the first attack after the restart but the free-kick came to nothing.

Dunn then made a super tackle on McFaull and Magee saved brilliantly with his feet as the visitors threatened.

Magee’s counterpart Fanshawe had his wits about him when Haitham’s shot from outside the area popped up.

On 52 minutes Cody got done by Aikhionbare but teammates steered his cut back away.

Rowlatt was crowded out after a slick move and Clarke, putting in a real shift, was denied once more by Fanshawe.

And then Magee was somehow able to change body shape to prevent Nathan Wood getting on the scoresheet.

Magee was at it once more on the hour saving from Aikhionbare, a genuine thorn in Chi’s side, on the goal line.

Haitham and Clarke hooked up as the hosts got going with the latter literally inches away from meeting a decent cross.

Chichester had Cody to thank for a timely tackle on Wood who but for this would have been in.

Clack then did all the good work only to drag a shot off target before fizzing a consequent effort high and wide on 64.

Robb’s stunning pass sent Prichard scampering through moments later but he couldn’t capitalise, and a fortuitous ricochet helped an advanced Dunn only for Fanshawe to get his angles right.

Ben Mendoza replaced Haitham for the last 20 or so.

Both sides exchanged a couple of free-kicks and Chi rode their luck on more than one occasion as Wood and Jake Embery, who bagged the lone goal in the FA Trophy, failed to inflict damage.

A composed Clarke tidied up an Aikhionbare cross; Rowlatt headed clear Carlton’s set-piece; and sub Alfie Bates-Giles blazed over before Prichard went close for the home side.

Magee then picked out a marauding Davidson who found Clack for a connection of sorts.

As with the opening 45, referee Andrew Dunn signalled four additional minutes, and Embery and Wood might have nicked all three points in stoppage time but Chi held on for a fourth draw in six league games.

Rutherford’s men are back in Isthmian south east action on Saturday 8th October (Kick Off 3pm) when they welcome Three Bridges to Oaklands Park.

Chichester – Magee, Davidson, Hutchings, Clarke, Cody, Robb, Haitham, Dunn, Clack, Rowlatt, Prichard (Mendoza, Pashley, Munt, Hyde, Dellaud).