First Team
Isthmian League South East Sat 15 October Oaklands Park
Chichester City
  • Clack (73')

Miles Rutherford & Co reshuffled the pack that lined up against Three Bridges last time out, with Ben Pashley and Adam Biss returning to the starting XI.

And it was Biss who struck the opening shot some sixty seconds in that Cannons’ keeper Steve Phillips got behind.

Pashley then recovered effectively to guide the ball back to Phillips’ counterpart at the other end.

Ethan Robb, in centre mid, next tackled Jarred Trespaderne firmly but fairly before a super Clack chest pass into Lloyd Rowlatt’s path set up another opportunity which the mercurial midfielder, who grabbed the winner at home to Three Bridges, couldn’t profit from on this occasion.

Pashley had to have his wits about him after Magee’s misplaced clearance fell to the visitors’ main outlet Johan Caney-Bryan and Chi’s No6 made a telling block.

Clack won the first corner of the match on seven minutes which Joe Clarke took short to Rowlatt.

Nothing came of this but Clack and Emmett Dunn hooked up moments later with the Chi skipper finding Clarke at the far post only to see his header deflected for another corner.

This one was deeper to Clack whose cross was claimed easily enough by Phillips.

The away side seemed content to go direct, looking to feed off scraps from long passes to Caney-Bryan.

The Hythe striker flicked the loose ball wide after Jason Fregene’s 12th minute throw-in.

Rob Hutchings, arguably the hosts’ stand-out player, then did well to hold off Sam Itauma and shepherd the ball back to Magee.

City countered but Jack Steventon managed to intercept Clack’s delivery before Magee sent Hutchings scampering away down the wing only for a heavy touch to make things more comfortable for Phillips who claimed ahead of the Chi left back.

Trespaderne, Frannie Collin and Marcus Goldsmith instigated an incisive Hythe move but Jack Mahoney had drifted offside.

Next, Steventon cleared a Hutchings’ cross; Ethan Prichard’s one towards Clarke was a bit too deep; and Rowlatt couldn’t quite get Dunn’s delivery under control.

Nice feet by Biss enabled him to fool a couple of opponents before Rowlatt was fouled and Hutchings forced Phillips into a second save.

Chi pressed again following a smart Biss challenge. Clack played Robb in but he didn’t get the sort of wrap he would have wanted on his effort.

Two Hythe attacks then fizzled out as first Collin, and then an incensed Mahoney, were flagged offside.

Magee was out sharply to get to the ball on the half hour before Pashley denied Mahoney and opened things up. Clack and Clarke combined with the latter getting a shove in the back in the area, although ref Antony Smith waved pen appeals away.

An outstanding Hythe tackle foiled Prichard as he lined up a shot on his left foot.

Dunn then received a lengthy spell of treatment from the Chi physio team; Clack made an important challenge on Mahoney; Steventon cut out one intended for Hutchings; and Mahoney, not for the first time, was caught offside.

Trespaderne fizzed an attempt off a defender for a corner that Mahoney took. It was a good one to be fair but Caney-Bryan impeded an opponent in the box.

And on the stroke of half time Prichard had a go with an effort he couldn’t keep down and then got hit in the face with an arm, but once more the ref wasn’t interested.

Chi’s first attack after the break saw Rowlatt play a slide-rule pass to Prichard only for the tricky youngster to miscue his cross to Callum Overton, a half time replacement for the injured Dunn.

Hutchings then hit an inviting ball towards Rowlatt but the keeper beat him to it before a poor clearance by Phillips fell to Clack who perhaps should have shot first time.

A neat Biss and Clack exchange presented Prichard with another chance that he didn’t get over.

Pashley then intercepted an Itauma cross; a combination of Pashley and Rowlatt tidied up as Goldsmith, Collin and Mahoney threatened; and Hutchings wasn’t going to beaten by Itauma in a foot race.

Pashley was at it again just before the hour mark comfortably denying Mahoney and Hythe spurned a set-piece when Collin failed to pick out a teammate.

Hutchings drove down the flank and delivered into the centre only for things to unravel, and skipper Liam Smith’s timely intervention snuffed out the danger in the subsequent move.

Next, Biss and Prichard linked up but the final ball was a little away from Chi’s most advanced player Rowlatt.

Hythe rang the changes in the 69th minute with Shad Ngandu coming on for Mahoney.

Rowlatt then had a crisp low cross steered clear just before Clack broke the deadlock when he got the all important last touch on Robb’s header back into the mixer from a lovely Clarke corner.

A neat bicycle kick got Chi out of trouble at the other end seconds later and a composed Smith did brilliantly to break up the counter.

Next, Goldsmith found a fellow player with a precision cross who headed wide and Fregene couldn’t get enough purchase on his header to bother Magee.

Sub Ngandu did Biss on 82 but Pashley cleared after Trespaderne and Itauma got involved in the move.

It was all a bit backs-to-the-wall stuff now.

Hythe, who grabbed an 88th minute equaliser in the corresponding fixture last year and a winner at the same time at home to Chi, should have made it all square but Caney-Bryan blew a golden opportunity and headed over from close range.

Marvin Hamilton-Omile similarly headed off target before Clack hit one high and wide.

A heart in the mouth moment came and went two minutes into stoppage time when following a goal mouth scramble Collin crashed an effort against the bar, but the hosts hung on for their third league win in eight games to move within one point of the play-off spots.

Chi welcome Haywards Heath Town to Oaklands Park in the Velocity Cup on Tuesday 18th October (Kick Off 7:45pm).

Chichester – Magee, Dunn, Hutchings, Robb, Cody, Pashley, Rowlatt, Biss, Clack, Clarke, Prichard (Dellaud, Munt, Moore, Haitham, Overton).