Chi came into the game assured of a play-off spot on a day where Cray Valley PM won away at Horndean to finally be crowned champions of the Isthmian South East division as runners up Ramsgate lost at home to Three Bridges and third placed Sittingbourne were beaten by Littlehampton.

Miles Rutherford & Co made several changes to the Chi starting XI. Curtis Da Costa and Ben Pashley returned as centre backs with Ryan Davidson on the right in the back line. Lloyd Rowlatt got his first start in some time at No10 and Ethan Prichard was given the No11 shirt.

A somewhat scrappy start saw Joe Clarke find joint top scorer Jimmy Wild in the first minute but Harry Brooks cut the ball out easily enough.

Chi skipper Josh Clack then forged a chance as Rob Hutchings crossed a minute later before Joe Moore conceded an unnecessary corner at the other end.

Keeper Kieran Magee punched Liam Friend’s kick comfortably away though and moments later denied Theo Osinfolarin.

The Herne Bay goalie then was on hand to save from Prichard as the visitors pushed once more.

The home side capitalised on a mistake by Hutchings for a couple of crosses that got cleared before Wild’s shot after good work from Rowlatt produced a save and a corner off Brooks.

Good battling by Clarke led to another Wild opportunity on 13 minutes and a subsequent corner that was eventually gathered by Brooks.

Friend spurned a chance at the back post as the game swung this way and that in the 17th before Clack and Wild hooked up and Herne Bay hacked away.

Pashley received a bit of treatment; Kane Rowland was flagged offside; and then fired one wide.

A clever switch between Wild and Hutchings almost set up Clack ahead of the half hour mark and Pashley tidied up as Bay threatened again.

Clack played Prichard in but his delivery was collected by Brooks without any trouble and then the Chi No11 combined with Rowlatt but couldn’t get it beyond Brooks.

Brooks gathered when a deflection almost wrong-footed him after Davidson and Moore combined and then held on to a Wild drive.

Chichester forced a pair of corners and then might have been awarded a pen when Davidson was seemingly impeded. Referee Billy Woods wasn’t interested though.

Magee was forced into action by Gil Carvahlo on 37 but got down to his low drive.

Pashley was forced off in the 39th minute to be replaced by Isaac Bello before Clack was well in and won a throw.

A neat one-two between Clack and Rowlatt led to a Wild opportunity that Brooks got to first and at the other end Herne Bay won a corner which Rowland headed just wide.

Harrison Pont beat Hutchings down the right as the home side pressed and Scott Heard blazed one wide on the cusp of half time.

Chi took the lead on 46 minutes after a lob by Prichard caught Brooks out as he misjudged the flight of the ball.

A couple of minutes later Moore almost got in for a second as Brooks went down.

Good body strength from Davidson allowed him to get the ball back to Magee five minutes in before Archie Burnett robbed Clack but Magee claimed his cross.

The next Magee punch was a bit weak when Pont and Carvalho combined and then Wild grabbed his 17th goal in the league with a lovely finish after a nice touch from captain Clack.

Kaleem Haitham replaced Wild on 54 and Bello made a decent block when Magee failed to fully clear.

Moore’s super cross almost found Clack a couple of minutes later and a deep Bay delivery ran out.

Clack made way for Olly Munt the other side of the hour after Haitham’s timely tackle on Pont.

Magee made a brilliant save to deny Rowland and his counterpart Brooks gathered as Bello hit one low and hard.

The hosts won a strange corner on 71 which sub Tom Hanfrey took and somehow Chi cleared the ensuing pinball as a few chances went begging.

Hutchings went down in the 75th minute and was unable to continue so Chi were reduced to 10.

A worrying cross-cum-shot was not claimed by Magee on 77 but the Chichester custodian did get to Pont’s one moments later before Bello made another fine block as sub Sam Wright cut inside.

There was nothing the away team could do however as Bay broke after Prichard was dispossessed with nine minutes to go and Michael Salako tucked his finish away.

Next, Haitham was denied by the woodwork in the 83rd as he played a neat exchange with Prichard who made it 3-1 to Chi a minute later.

Three gilt-edged chances came and went for the hosts on 87 as the game opened up before Burnett reduced the arrears following a Magee mistake.

Then, Rowlatt had a decent shot and Salako made it all square with an impressive header at the death.

Mr Woods added five minutes.

Bello should have had a shot on 92; Pont was cautioned for dissent; and Rowland somehow headed wide after an excellent cross as the clock ticked down.

Next up is Ramsgate away on Tuesday 30th April (Kick Off 7:45pm) in the play-offs.

Chichester – Magee, Davidson, Hutchings, Moore, Da Costa, Pashley, Clack, Clarke, Wild, Rowlett, Prichard. Subs – (Horncastle, Bello, Haitham, Munt, Jammeh).