There were three changes to the starting XI with Jimmy Wild and Olly Munt returning, alongside midfielder Joe Clarke back from suspension, in a 3-5-2 formation.

The visitors came into the match after one win in five and an incredible 6-6 draw away at Broadbridge Heath last week. Chi meanwhile, lost four of their previous five fixtures with a 4-0 defeat of basement club Beckenham at Oaklands Park.

Here, Aaron Lamont had a go in the first minute but it was an easy save for Kieran Magee.

Ben Senior was fouled two minutes later only for Harry Pointing’s free-kick not to cause any trouble.

A Josh Clack cross towards Wild was cut out before Greenwood was flagged offside.

Then Wild drove smartly into the box and won the first corner on 7 after Olly Munt’s pass.

A subsequent strike from Munt got headed clear and his next ball to Wild was intercepted.

Greenwood was caught offside again and skipper Connor Cody’s attempt went wide from Rob Hutchings’ set-piece after Wild got impeded.

Next, full-back Oliver Khinda got in but couldn’t pull the trigger; teammate Harry Murphy, on the other side, had an effort that didn’t worry Magee when Bello lost control; and Senior was fouled by Cody.

The same Merstham player forced Magee to save with his feet and concede a corner following some neat skill.

This came to nothing though.

Clarke had a hit blocked and a Chichester cross was too high for Wild.

Another pass to Clack looked like it might have resulted in a pen but referee Oscar Whiting wasn’t interested.

Richie Mbele got yellow carded for an indiscretion however and Kyle O’Brien struck his corner kick onto the roof of the net.

Wild headed Clack’s delivery just over at the mid-point and Tom Collins tried to lob Magee when the ball bounced off Cody.

Then Senior got a talking to from Mr Whiting for an infringement and the hard- working Wild was well in on Khinda.

A super cross from Munt fell to Cody who was unable unfortunately to get his effort on target.

The Chi No11 then fired Bello’s delivery the wrong side and Wild had a couple of shots too.

Senior’s cross was gathered eventually by Magee and the hosts cleared their lines before Senior and Greenwood combined but the move was broken up.

With four minutes to go to the interval Bello scored his seventh goal in eleven games after an exquisite Munt pass.

Less than a minute later Munt delivered a decent cross and Wild might have had a go when Munt picked him out.

After the restart Bello somehow managed to keep the ball in and cross, but Greenwood pulled the Surrey side level after five minutes with a long ranger when the ball came out to him and he squeezed it in past Magee and a couple of defenders.

Clack’s tricky flick on O’Brien’s cross didn’t quite come off; O’Brien dragged one narrowly wide; and Hutchings’ free-kick was off target.

Next, Khinda fired a great delivery which Magee claimed low down to his right and Senior whipped the ball over for Greenwood to force a corner.

Hutchings countered up the wing and found Munt but his shot wasn’t true.

Miles Rutherford & Co made a triple substitution with 20 minutes or so of normal time to go as Conrad Honore, Mo Jammeh and Joe Moore replaced O’Brien, Munt and Emmett Dunn.

Jammeh found Wild for some lovely skill and a shot on the swivel.

Then Collins came off for Lorenzo Lewis and Honore hit one out for a goal kick.

Greenwood was booked as he fouled Clarke before a superb Moore run opened things up only for Honore’s effort to deflect off a defender.

Hutchings took the consequent corner which Cody headed on to the bar.

Lewis bought a set-piece off Cody on 75 and Magee claimed the header comfortably after Lamont delivered.

In the 80th minute Jammeh’s extraordinary overhead on Bello’s cross didn’t quite hit the spot.

Honore tried his luck next but fired high; Senior was similarly off target; and Magee denied Lewis.

The ref signalled six minutes of time added on as Wild flicked on to Clack who hit narrowly wide before Honore pulled a stop out of Merstham keeper Endurance Johnson.

And Hutchings gave away a corner which Magee collected on the final whistle.

So, the game postponed due to weather several times at Bognor’s MKM Arena finally got played, and Chi drew their first home game of the season in the last game of January. They remain in eighth place and welcome East Grinstead Town to Oaklands Park on Saturday 3rd of February 2024 (Kick Off 3pm).

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


Photos to follow.