The previous encounter at the WW Martin Community Stadium in Kent finished 4-0 back in December with Joe Taylor and Alfie Paxman both scoring braces for the hosts, and just 10 days ago Chi lost the reverse fixture at Oaklands Park 4-2 when Taylor netted a hat-trick this time.

The Rams finished league runners-up 20 points ahead of Chi, but the Sussex side historically made it to the play-offs for the first time ever thanks to an unbelievable unbeaten run of 13 games.

There were two changes to the starting XI that lined up in that last game of the regular season at Herne Bay last time out. Captain Connor Cody returned to partner Curtis Da Costa in the heart of the defence and Isaac Bello replaced Ethan Prichard at No11.

Right back Ryan Davidson headed clear a Joe Turner cross in the second minute of play before Chi striker Jimmy Wild almost made it to a long ball at the other end.

Lloyd Rowlatt was tackled, perhaps unfairly, 60 seconds later but no foul was given.

Then Turner struck a long-ranger wide as the home side pressed and Cody was in well on TJ Jadama to concede a throw.

Next, Wild had a chance to put the visitors 1-0 up but the ball, after neat work from Rowlatt and Bello, bobbled.

The Chi midfielders then tried to link up again but the final pass was a bit too long and Rowlatt had another go with an effort that goalie Tom Hadler pushed away for a corner.

Rob Hutchings took this, although it went out for a goal kick off Cody.

Bello had a shot saved on 16 by Hadler as his counter-part Kieran Magee went long, and Davidson’s subsequent header was just off target.

First Da Costa and then Hutchings got in brave blocks to deny Turner again with the ball finally turned for a corner.

Magee was out to clear as Jordan Green almost got in before good work from Josh Clack put an end to a Ramsgate attack.

A Rowlatt nibble saw him concede a free-kick to the hosts which didn’t really materialise and intense battling by Bello led to a Chi throw with no end product at the other end.

Matty Warren’s cross was cleared eventually on the half hour mark before Hutchings went on a run and found Joe Moore only for the ball to go out for a goal kick.

A rare Davidson mistake allowed Taylor to get in but Magee cleared his lines easily enough before Benny Bioletti delivered but no one was there on 36.

The same Ramsgate player had another chance seconds later and fired wide.

Magee made a mistake in the next move, however, Bioletti blazed over this time.

Davidson tried to hook up with Bello on 40 minutes, although he couldn’t get a shot off.

Then Warren hit a cross in but a teammate, not for the first time, was flagged offside.

It got a bit scrappy as set-pieces came and went before Turner and Bioletti combined for a high ball that Magee gathered without any real pressure.

A super pass from Moore a minute before half time nearly played Bello in but the Rams defence worked efficiently to deal with the danger.

And then the hosts had the ball in the back of the net but the referee’s assistant had his flag up quickly and after a chat it was ruled out as the heavens ominously opened up.

Jack A. Paxman replaced Bioletti at the break as the home side rejigged.

Turner hit one wide before he had a cross cut out and then Chi won a couple of corners that came to nothing.

Next, Davidson gave away a foul on Jadama on the edge of the box. Lee Martin took this and hit the bar.

Green’s following effort was no trouble for Magee before four chances came and went in quick succession for the Rams as they forced corner after corner, but the visitors dug in and defended resolutely.

Warren headed another flag kick off target on the hour before Jammeh replaced Rowlatt who’d put in a real shift.

Cody was carded for a foul in the 62nd but Davidson headed the free-kick away and Martin hit an attempt off target.

Bello received a bit of treatment for a knock with 20 minutes of normal time to go and was finally subbed for Prichard.

Da Costa, immense at the back, cleared on 76 before Magee denied Green with a lovely save and Hutchings threw his body on the line with a block.

It was all a bit “You shall not pass” to be honest now as Chi turned away threat after threat.

And then Jammeh somehow got on the ball and squeezed it past the hapless Hadler on 87.

The referee signalled eight minutes of additional time.

Magee denied Taylor on 92 with a decent save and a couple of other Rams teammates went for headers too.

Chichester might have doubled their lead though in the third minute of time added on when a quick-thinking Prichard had a go from distance and almost caught Hadler out with a shot that cannoned back off the inside of the post.

Chi had to deal with a catalogue of corners, with Hadler up top for these, as the clock ticked slowly down.

The ref’s whistle finally went on 100 minutes as everyone went nuts.

The play-off final is away against fellow Sussex side Three Bridges on Friday 3rd May (Kick Off 7:45pm).

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