First Team
Isthmian League South East Sat 7 January Oaklands Park
Chichester City
  • Mfula (10')
  • Embery (22')

Ryan Davidson returned at right back in an otherwise unchanged starting XI from the one that lost 3-2 at East Grinstead Town on New Year’s Day Bank Holiday Monday.

Chi conceded two early goals in that away trip but got back into the game before half time thanks to Ben Pashley and Olly Munt, only for EG to grab all three points from the penalty spot late on.

Here against seventh place Sheppey, Chi were toothless with coach Dabba Killpartrick criticising players in his post-match interview for not winning second balls in the opening 45.

The Ites, whose supporters made a generous donation to the Chichester Foodbank, started the brighter of the two teams with Jake Embery, and others, flagged offside within sixty seconds.

Pashley then headed clear and Rob Hutchings tidied up after Munt played a blind pass which was intercepted.

Next, Pashley reacted quickly to hook a loose ball away before Danny Leonard this time strayed offside and keeper Kieran Magee flapped at one in the box only for teammates to bail him out.

The hosts won a corner on eight minutes that Lloyd Rowlatt played deep to Davidson and Hutchings tried his luck with a long ranger that Aiden Prall gathered easily enough.

At the other end Warren Mfula had a go when Chi failed to clear their lines but Magee claimed comfortably.

Pashley came across and got to the ball ahead of an opponent after Connor Cody was dispossessed.

And Sheppey’s top scorer Mfula netted his 21st of the season in all competitions on 10 minutes with a crisp finish after Hutchings got done down the right flank by Leonard.

Mfula might have added a second moments later as he turned Cody only to blaze over.

The Ites No9 was at it again on 14 but Magee ran out swiftly and Mfula was offside anyway.

The hosts were under the cosh and Connor Wilkins forced Magee into a stop; Chi defenders blocked another effort; and the lively Mfula pulled an attempt wide of the mark.

Magee then raced a long way off his line to deny Bradley Schafer but there was nothing Magee could do as Sheppey broke down the right again and Leonard teed Embery up to make it 2-0.

Cody went on one of his mazy runs but Munt’s delivery was poor and Mfula, seemingly offside again, spurned another opportunity as Magee saved with his feet.

An Ites corner fell to Wilkins who twisted and turned looking to get a shot off before Rowlatt went close with a rare Chi chance as his looping header went inches over the crossbar on the half hour.

Mfula had the ball in the back of the net a minute later only to be judged offside before Cody fed an advanced Hutchings down the left wing for a woeful cross.

Ethan Prichard then played Davidson in on the other flank but his first touch let him down and Leonard caused mayhem as he probed once more but Hutchings diverted the ball out for a corner which Ites skipper Richard Hamill took and Magee claimed.

Next, Pashley held Mfula off in a foot-race and Schafer ghosted beyond Cody only for Pashley to intervene and clear.

Leonard, a thorn in Chi’s side so far, was caught marauding up the right by Pashley who picked up the game’s first yellow card for his crude challenge.

Magee then punched away a Hamill corner and Josh Wisson drove over the top before Davidson joined Pashley in Mr Copping’s notepad and Mfula couldn’t steer a cross from the left on target on the stroke of half time.

The hosts rang the changes at the break with Kaleem Haitham and Joe Moore replacing Munt and Jamie Horncastle.

And Haitham was involved in a slick move with Davidson and Emmett Dunn that led to Rowlatt’s shot being blocked three minutes in.

Prichard then whipped in a super ball before Prall sent Embery away for a shot that nicked off a Chi defender for a corner. This one came out to Wisson whose effort deflected into Magee’s gloves.

Leonard next thumped one into the side-netting after a wayward Pashley touch before Wilkins ballooned a shot over.

Fouls on both Haitham and Prichard went unpunished and Magee was out smartly to pick up on the edge of his area ahead of Mfula.

Rowlatt then got a toe on a through ball but stabbed it straight at Prall and Prichard cracked a drive into the Sheppey keeper’s midriff.

Magee denied Mfula with a fine save and Moore found fellow sub Haitham whose effort was similarly stopped.

Just after the hour mark Cody played in Josh Clack only for the striker to lose his footing.

Dunn got on the end of a Rowlatt corner but a defender cleared his header and with 20 to go neither Dunn nor Davidson could pounce on another from Rowlatt.

Clack charged down a Prall clearance and a Hamill set-piece was headed away by the Chi back-line before Magee tipped Leonard’s fierce effort over.

The visitors forged a catalogue of corners in a purple patch – the final one headed narrowly over by Hamill.

Sheppey sub Jamal Ossai was then cautioned for clipping Davidson as the right back probed with a couple minutes left of normal time.

Hutchings fizzed a shot into Prall’s gloves as the clock ticked down and Rowlatt battled hard to win the ball in the corner but Haitham couldn’t find a teammate with the last kick of the game.

Chichester and Sheppey drew the reverse fixture, the opening league game of the season, 1-1 but Chi, in and around the play-off spots at times since then, have now slipped to 13th place following a winless run of five matches.

Up next is a Sussex derby against Burgess Hill Town on Saturday 14th January (Kick Off 1pm).

Chichester – Magee, Davidson, Hutchings, Horncastle, Cody, Pashley, Munt, Dunn, Rowlatt, Dunn, Prichard (Biss, Moore, Clarke, Haitham).