There were four changes to the XI that lined up for Chi in a cracking 2-2 Isthmian south east division draw away at Haywards Heath with Isaac Bello coming in for Ryan Davidson at right back; Lewis Hyde returning to the centre of the defence; and Olly Munt and Kaleem Haitham both getting starts.
The last time Chichester played Peacehaven at the Sports Park was back in February 2019 in that season Miles Rutherford’s men won the league and promotion to Step 4 for the first time in the club’s history.
On that occasion a late Sammy Ndlovu equaliser earnt Chi a point.
Here the West Sussex team started with intensity and their opponents from the other side of the county had a storm to weather in the opening minutes.
Josh Clack headed a Rob Hutchings’ cross into Stroomberg-Clarke’s gloves before Lloyd Rowlatt and Munt combined to tee Ethan Prichard up for a shot that the Haven keeper turned out for the first corner of the match.
Clack flicked this wide and at the other end Kieran Magee was forced into a stop by Max Hollobone after giving the ball away.
Then the hosts’ Robin Deen hit a wayward pass, when he might have shot, following a neat exchange with his skipper Ross Barclay.
Chichester countered with three players all pressing together and Haitham’s precise finish found the bottom left hand corner to give the visitors the lead.
Subsequent chances to put the game out of sight were missed as Prichard had a drive blocked, no one could get on the end of Hutchings’ decent delivery into the box, and Clack dragged one wide.
A towering Hyde header got Stroomberg-Clarke’s punt away before Rowlatt picked out Clack who swivelled only to have his shot on the turn deflected by a defender for a corner.
On 15 minutes Clack was at it again, pulling a save out of Stroomberg-Clarke low to his right.
Next, Joe Clarke tried his luck from distance but the Haven keeper, who quite rightly was awarded Man of the Match by the home fans, gloved this round his post.
Hyde couldn’t get a proper connection when the consequent corner was whipped over but did win another one.
Hutchings curled a fierce effort that looked certain to go top bins. Stroomberg-Clarke, however, had other ideas and acrobatically clawed the ball on to the woodwork and over for a corner.
Chi paid the price for these missed chances when Hollobone levelled things up in the 21st minute after a mishap at the back and could have given the home side the lead barely sixty seconds later but Magee blocked this time.
The equaliser gave Peacehaven a foothold in the game and some confidence after coping with so much pressure.
Play-maker Cam Wiltshire, who featured against Chichester in that 2019 match, had a go as the visitors struggled to clear.
Then Stroomberg-Clarke got his angles right to deny Rowlatt and Haitham didn’t get enough curl on an attempt that the Haven keeper gathered easily enough.
Munt, Haitham and Prichard were involved in a move which set Hutchings up for a cross which was too deep before Bello found Clack with an excellent pass that the Chi captain might have off-loaded quicker.
Haitham crashed a shot against the woodwork on 34 and Hutchings brought a ball down skilfully but the subsequent move fizzled out.
Moments later Prichard, leaning back, fired over and Haitham struck an effort high as well.
The hosts counter-attacked and Barclay pulled one wide as it all got end to end once more.
Henry Blackmore had his attempt blocked, Prichard blazed another over, and Harry Docherty’s cross-cum-shot fizzed past Magee on the stroke of half time.
Peacehaven hit Chi stone cold in the first minute after the break when a delivery from the right fell to Callum Edwards who sent Magee to the shops and coolly tucked the ball home from close range to make it 2-1.
Joe Clarke then played Prichard in only for Stroomberg-Clarke to deny the Chi No11 point blank.
Ben Pashley’s tug on Edwards earned the hosts a free-kick which Hollobone took and Magee dropped, although Barclay couldn’t profit.
An on-fire Stroomberg-Clarke tipped another Prichard shot over the frame of the goal for a corner that came to nothing.
Misplaced passes and crosses featured in a five minute spell and Peacehaven blew a golden opportunity after Ethan Robb, who’d come on for Hyde at the interval, was dispossessed.
Magee was then forced into a spectacular save by Eman Ose-Asomah, palming his effort onto the woodwork before Bello cleared on the goal line.
The Chi custodian stopped Edwards’ fierce 66th minute attempt and Rowlatt found Clack as Chi pressed but he failed to trouble Magee’s counterpart.
Hollobone wasn’t far off with a shot four minutes later before Ose-Asomah got the game’s first yellow card with 15 to go for a heavy challenge on Hutchings.
Prichard, who scored a magnificent set-piece against Heath at the weekend, went close with this one.
Jack Lumsden replaced Bello just before Hutchings smashed in one of his, if not his best goal for Chichester, to make it all square as sublime skill enabled the left back to get the ball under control and rifle it into the back of the net with his right foot.
Joe Moore, on for Munt, made an important last-ditch tackle to concede a corner which Drew Matthews headed narrowly wide before another Clack shot on the turn was claimed by Stroomberg-Clarke in the final minute of normal time.
And so, we went straight to penalties.
Magee saved Wiltshire’s first one and Pashley, off balance, blazed his follow-up pen over. Docherty then thumped Peacehaven’s second spot kick against the bar and Clack put Chi in front before Matthews and Prichard both converted. Hollobone made it 2-2 and Hutchings, like Pashley, missed the target. Deen calmly scored as did Robb to send the shoot-out to sudden death. Sub Brad Bant’s pen heaped the pressure on Haitham whose effort was saved by Stroomberg-Clarke to send the hosts through to the third round.
Chi return to league action next when Cray Valley PM visit Oaklands Park on Saturday 19th November (Kick Off 3pm).
Chichester – Magee, Bello, Hutchings, Clarke, Hyde, Pashley, Rowlatt, Munt, Clack, Haitham, Prichard (Moore, Robb, Lumsden).