Tad Bromage put the visitors in front on 24 minutes before Josh Clack levelled on the stroke of half time. Curtis Gayler saw red moments later and the away side had to play the second period a man down.
Rowlatt grabbed the winner, in a game high on drama, ahead of the hour mark.
Kick off was delayed for the second week running at Oaklands Park after the A27 was closed both ways near Arundel as an air ambulance was called to a traffic accident, and things didn’t get going until 3:45.
There was just the one change to the starting XI that lined up against Faversham Town last time out with Olly Munt replacing Kaleem Haitham.
A minute’s applause was observed for Alfold assistant manager Ish Vasconcelos, involved with Chi a few seasons ago, who died in the week.
Chi keeper Kieran Magee beat Bridges’ striker Kieron Pamment to Connor Cody’s under-hit back pass two minutes in.
Noel Leighton then got a talking to by referee Iain Parsons for a heavy challenge on Ethan Robb before Ryan Davidson intercepted a pass intended for Camron Lawson following good work from Leighton and Pamment.
One of Leighton’s teammates inadvertently blocked his shot in the eighth minute and Joe Clarke, man of the match against Faversham last week, became the first player of five to be given a yellow card by Mr Parsons.
Davidson headed Gayler’s free-kick away and Munt found Rob Hutchings down the flank but the left back was caught in two minds whether to shoot or cross.
Next, Chi got away with one when Lawson countered and Brannon O’Neill strayed offside.
Then Magee was out sharply to clear as Pamment pressed and moments later Lawson bought a cheap foul off Davidson. O’Neill delivered the set piece and a composed Emmett Dunn tidied up in the box.
It was end to end stuff in the opening 20 with both sides though lacking a cutting edge in the final third.
Pamment dragged an effort across goal before Bromage broke the deadlock on 24 minutes with a bullet header from O’Neill’s corner after Leighton had muscled Clarke off the ball.
Lawson went over rather theatrically in the area – nothing doing according to the ref, and then Gayler whipped in a wayward cross from the right and Bromage made a timely tackle on Ethan Prichard to snuff out the danger.
Leighton got the better of Clarke once more and cracked a fierce drive off target.
Clack struck one high and wide at the other end as Chi sought an equaliser and a foul by Pamment went unpunished deep into Three Bridges territory.
The hosts earned their first corner in the 37th minute which Munt took and picked out Dunn who headed narrowly wide.
Clack then drove into the box and won a second corner which keeper Leo Anderson flapped at to concede a third corner in as many minutes.
Munt played this one short to Rowlatt who found Davidson at the back stick only for the Chi defender to pass up the home side’s best opportunity so far.
Magee pulled off a spectacular save to deny Lawson 42 minutes in before it was all square thanks to Clack curling an effort beyond the despairing Anderson.
The game’s turning point came and went in time added on after Gayler went down too easily in the penalty area. Dunn and Pamment were booked for some handbags and away from the ensuing fracas the assistant on the College Lane side indicated an off the ball incident between Gayler and Magee to the preoccupied ref and the visitors were down to ten.
Chichester began the second half with intensity – a stunning hit from Clack was somehow palmed away by Anderson; and the Chi No9 forced another superb stop out of the Bridges’ keeper who tipped his powerful shot over for a corner which fell to Rowlatt but the midfielder lifted an attempt above the frame of the goal.
A delicious ping sent Davidson away down the right wing only for Bridges’ defenders to hack the ball away.
Excellent upper body strength from Cody allowed him to shrug off Leighton and find Prichard, however, the youngster blazed over.
Adam Biss, back from a three-game suspension, replaced Dunn on 56 minutes before Hutchings scurried up the left flank, picked out Munt, and the visitors gave away a corner.
Munt whipped this over and the diminutive Rowlatt beat everyone in the air to powerfully head past Anderson.
Billy Irving might have levelled seconds later but his vicious effort fizzed just wide.
Munt then had a shot on the turn blocked; O’Neill drifted past opponents with no end product; and Chi won a contentious corner that Munt wasted.
Prichard wasn’t far off on 67 minutes forcing Anderson into a decent stop before Clack did all the hard work to cut inside and fluffed his lines from close range.
Next, Magee gathered Irving’s header and Prichard fired one into the side-netting.
Hutchings nearly found Davidson with a fine dead ball delivery but Anderson punched away taking the ball off the head of the Chi right back.
Things got spicy again in the last 10 – Biss tackled magnificently; Magee denied Bridges sub Conner Collcutt; Clarke was in the right place on the line to block after Manny Tehe ghosted this way and that around defenders; and Magee claimed an O’Neill cross.
Three Bridges blew a couple of chances in additional time with Tehe drilling a cross-cum-shot off target and a teammate drifting offside as the visitors pressed.
It proved all to no avail as Chichester picked up their second league win in seven games, moving up to eighth in the table.
Chi welcome Hythe Town to Oaklands Park on Saturday 15th October (Kick Off 3pm).
Chichester – Magee, Davidson, Hutchings, Clarke, Cody, Robb, Prichard, Dunn, Clack, Rowlatt, Munt (Moore, Bello, Biss, Pashley, Dos Santos).