In previous years the two sides have competed with Worthing and Selsey for the Dave Kew Cup and here managers Miles Rutherford and Graeme Gee along with coaches Danny Potter and Darin Killpartrick fielded a side made up of regular starters, U23 players, trialists and university students on both sides of the Atlantic.
Kieran Magee returned between the sticks, Ryan Davidson lined up in his customary right back position with Rob Hutchings on the other flank and skipper Ben Pashley was joined by a new partner following the departures of Connor Cody and Emmett Dunn, in the heart of the defence. Signing Conrad Honore, who certainly caught the eye in his short spell at Oaklands Park on a duel-registration from Worthing last year before being recalled by his parent club and heading off to Haywards Heath, accompanied Lloyd Rowlatt, Olly Munt, Clarke and 2022-23 leading marksman Ethan Prichard, with Steve Hutchings up top.
The Lions broke the deadlock as early as the fifth minute when a lofty ball caught Magee and his defenders out and Jamie Carroll had the simplest of tasks of rolling it into an empty net.
Prichard then spurned a chance to shoot but his cut back earned Chichester the first corner of the night and Clarke rose above everyone to meet a lovely delivery planting a bullet header home for parity.
The visitors started to settle down and move the ball around nicely.
Rowlatt probably should have put Chichester 2-1 up on the quarter hour mark but shot wide after he’d been slipped in.
A hard pitch popped the ball up and onto Pashley’s arm but Magee was there to save the resulting free-kick and concede a corner which came to nothing.
Clarke, back on his old stomping ground, was next upended after a decent run through midfield and Munt, who looked sharp all game, pulled off a spectacular turn.
Next, Steve Hutchings, scorer of four goals in his three appearances for Chi last term, had a shot saved by Connor Kelly at the mid-point, and another teammate blazed one over.
Munt was then denied by a firm stop and Davidson did well to snuff out the danger as Pagham pressed.
Steve Hutchings was inches away from getting to Prichard’s measured cross when the away side countered and an effort flashed over moments later.
Rowlatt had another go blocked before Prichard was fouled on the edge of the box two minutes ahead of the break. He took the set-piece himself but it was off target.
There was still time for Munt to try his luck with a long-ranger and trickery from Prichard and then Steve Hutchings set Rowlatt up for a thunderous attempt which Kelly did well to save.
Chichester rejigged at half time with Clarke partnering Pashley at the back and Joe Moore coming on in midfield.
Pagham wasted a good opportunity less than a minute after the restart and Prichard teed up Steve Hutchings only for Kelly to claw away his downwards header.
A burst of pace from Moore got Chi away again but the Lions back four managed to clear.
Then Rowlatt had another effort blocked and Rob Hutchings defended cleverly as the hosts probed down the right wing.
Wholesale changes were rung, as is the way with these things, on the hour with multiple replacements.
Next, Pagham crashed a free-kick into the wall after a player was impeded just outside the penalty area.
Josh Clack, who appeared to have fouled his marker, broke although couldn’t find a finish, and an offside Prichard thumped an attempt straight at Kelly.
Magee was on hand to get down low to his right and save after the Lions whipped in a rare corner with 20 to go.
And then Prichard beat the offside trap this time but not a resolute Kelly.
Both sides headed wide before Theo Bennetts and Isaac Bello hooked up and the latter sent in an inviting cross but no one was there.
Clack had an effort saved after Munt squared the ball to him and Kelly got out sharply to claim just before the final whistle.
Next up for Chichester is an away trip to Brockenhurst on Saturday 22nd July (Kick Off 3pm).
Chichester – Magee, Davidson, Rob Hutchings, Clarke, Trialist, Pashley, Munt, Steve Hutchings, Rowlatt, Prichard, Honore. Subs – (Moore, Clack, Haitham, Farrier, Bello, Trialist, Bennetts)