Full backs Ryan Davidson and Rob Hutchings returned to the starting XI, as did Mo Jammeh in midfield.

Chi came in to the match on the back of five wins in the last eight, whereas the visitors, who took Charlton Athletic to a first round FA Cup replay this campaign, are yet to lose in the league and Oaklands has proved a happy hunting ground over the years.

Both sides had storm Jocelyn to deal with and a swirling wind made things challenging.

As a consequence, passes were often misplaced.

Cray, a class above to be honest, went ahead here within the first five minutes when Matty Vigor capitalised on some indecision at the back firing in off the post.

Jammeh then broke down the left flank, but the hosts had to rebuild.

Kieran Magee was forced into a save by Adam Coombes before the same player exchanged a neat one-two with Michael Ademiluyi.

The Chi keeper had a cross to claim as the Millers started brightly and Coombes struck an effort narrowly wide.

Josh Clack and Conrad Honore replaced the injured Davidson and Ethan Prichard, who scored two goals against Beckenham at the weekend, less than 20 minutes in.

Next, Rob Hutchings’ free-kick held up in the wind and Steve Hutchings gave away a handball.

A long pass on 21 led to a mix-up between Magee and a defender before bursts of pace won the away team a throw and then a corner.

Cray doubled their lead through Kiki Oshilaya in the 24th minute as he swivelled in the box and rifled the ball home.

A moment later Rob Hutchings had to be astute to head back to Magee when Hassan Ibrahiym delivered.

Connor Cody’s pass towards Isaac Bello was overhit; Clement Asiedu was booked for a foul on Bello; and Clack’s subsequent set-piece got headed off-target by Emmett Dunn just after the half hour mark.

The visitors then hit an attempt high and Denzel Gayle fizzed one wide.

Dunn joined Asiedu in Mr Bloor’s notepad when he conceded a penalty which Coombes blasted past Magee for 3-0.

A nice turn and pass by Honore followed before Ibrahiym had too much time but his shot went inches wide of the stick.

Ademiluyi had an effort blocked and Vigor wasn’t far off with another in the three minutes of additional time.

It was all over as a contest now and Cray Valley didn’t need to get out of second gear after the interval.

Content to sit, they allowed Chi a lot of possession, although the hosts struggled to break down a well-drilled team.

Joe Clarke had a go sixty seconds in to no avail; crosses came in from the right and left as Gayle’s shot was blocked.

The Chichester No4 then was forced to make a tackle on Coombes after a poor Honore pass.

Belllo’s pace permitted him to hook up with Steve Hutchings in a move where he was clipped.

The hosts won a first corner on 63 but Rob Hutchings’ kick failed to clear the first man.

At the other end, Gayle danced into the box before Olly Munt was introduced for Steve Hutchings in the 69th minute.

Jammeh then pulled a spectacular finger-tip save out of Max Ovenden.

The Millers also rang the changes and substitute Lyle Della-Verde bought a foul he knew was coming.

The resulting free-kick got absolutely banged by Della-Verde, but just wide.

As the clock ticked down, Cody went on one of those mazy runs; Jammeh saw another opportunity come and go; and a cross punched away at the end.

So, Chi remain in eighth place and travel to Three Bridges on Saturday 27th January 2024 (Kick Off 3pm).

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

Photos to follow.