City came into the game with a starting XI unchanged from the one that were clapped off the field last time out by the home fans when they triumphed 3-1 away at Sheppey United.

Isaac Bello has also been on fire, scoring five goals in five previous matches as Miles Rutherford & Co’s outfit notched four wins, and Steve Hutchings returned to the squad accompanying Conrad Honore, Connor Cody, Joe Clarke and Lee Seok-jae on the bench.

There are all sorts of connections between the two clubs and here Chichester keeper Kieran Magee, who moved to Chi from Horndean, was forced into an early stop denying Dan Sibley three minutes in.

The same Deans player then fired a dangerous cross over in the fourth minute which the Sussex side cleared.

Next, Joe Moore and Kyle O’Brien exchanged passes but Rob Hutchings’ ball into the box was rather wayward.

Moore was well-in on 10 before Rob Hutchings hooked away.

Another delivery from Sibley caused skipper Ryan Davidson to concede the first corner which got headed wide before a poor clearance fell to Man of the Match Connor Duffin who put the Hampshire team ahead with an effort that Magee could only get a touch on in the 16th minute.

Chichester looked to shake off a somewhat ponderous start as Ethan Prichard, who bagged a hattrick in that 3-0 win at Littlehampton on New Year’s Day, made a good contact but the ball was deflected out for a corner.

O’Brien whipped this in and Emmett Dunn wasn’t far off.

Prichard then came under pressure from Kyle Bailey and Davidson climbed effectively to set Rob Hutchings up for a cross-field ping.

The hard-working Duffin, a proper old-school No9 who was a nuisance all afternoon, gave away a throw-in on 24 minutes and Davidson wasn’t going to score from there as Rob Hutchings picked him some way out.

Aston Mitchell got yellow-carded and Tommy Scutt, Mitchell and former Chi player Ethan Robb combined for a shot which was charged down.

Duffin and Cade Dyer then hooked up but the hosts cleared and a floored Scutt received some treatment.

A lovely pass by Dunn found Bello who slipped unfortunately before Scutt’s attempt looped up and Magee claimed.

And it was 2-0 when Willett delivered from the right and Sibley found the back of the net.

Mo Jammeh fired over on 34 and there was a coming together of Bello and Rudi Blankson.

Bello was replaced by a back from injury layoff Steve Hutchings a minute or so later.

Next, Rob Taw took a throw which resulted in a dangerous cross and a follow-up one that Magee gathered under pressure.

Referee Nicholas Whittington gave Willett and Dyer a talking to on 41 before Taw whipped a corner kick in.

Jammeh was upended a couple of times and just before half time Rob Hutchings’ set-piece after one of these infringements went past multiple players without any end product.

And on the stroke of the break Duffin won a free-header but the cut back was cut out.

Honore came on for Moore at the interval and Rob Hutchings got booked for a handball 60 seconds in. Scutt took the subsequent free-kick and Chi cleared off the line.

Josh Clack then had a go without any real power and a couple of Deans players took swipes at Prichard.

Bailey found his custodian and captain Cameron Scott with a backwards header before a fierce Prichard hit was deflected for a corner. O’Brien took this which was cleared for another that he struck too deep.

Next, Clack crossed more accurately towards Steve Hutchings but it came to nothing and Harvey Laidlaw was introduced for Dyer as we approached the hour mark.

Steve Hutchings and Jammeh linked up but defenders snuffed out the danger and Magee finally collected when Sibley and Duffin played a clever one-two.

Clack earned a corner after good work by Jammeh which O’Brien took and Dunn redressed the arrears at the left post, stabbing in through a cluster of players.

Neat skill from top scorer Prichard led to a consequent Horndean clearance and O’Brien was freed up by a super pass.

It might have been all square on 67 when Prichard only had to cut inside and slot home.

Cody replaced O’Brien a minute or so later and Prichard’s lovely effort was deflected once again for a corner which Rob Hutchings delivered.

Bailey was booked for a handball just outside the box and a header from the intelligent set-piece got hooked away.

Scott got his gloves on a header from Steve Hutchings before, with the hosts looking like they might get something out of the game, Willett wrapped things up.

Late on Rob Hutchings swerved one wide; Cody headed over; Honore had an effort blocked; and Jammeh went close but to no avail.

So, last campaign’s  Wessex Premier champions who came up to Step 4 this season, grabbed all three points.

Eighth place Chi welcome Herne Bay to Oaklands Park on Tuesday 16th January 2024 (Kick Off 7:45pm).

Chichester – Magee, Davidson, O’Brien, Moore, Da Curtis, Rob Hutchings, Bello, Dunn, Clack, Jammeh, Prichard. Subs – (Honore, Steve Hutchings, Cody, Clarke, Lee).