Chichester were never confident of getting much out of a tough Sussex League first-division fixture against unbeaten Rye and it was no surprise the visitors left Oaklands Park with a 4-1 victory.
But despite this, City made a good fight of it during the opening half-hour and gave their slow-starting opponents plenty to think about before two goals in quick succession changed the complexion of the game.
Matt MacLean helped set up both strikes, with Nick Holland burying a 36th-minute cross and Sam Adams breaking through from the restart.
City have been guilty of not performing straight after the interval in recent matches, but it was a different story this time.
New signing from Selsey James Parsons was introduced, scoring with a rebound six minutes after his arrival as Chichester rained in several shots on keeper Callum Christie, who was forced to make a couple of desperate blocks.
However, on 53 minutes Rye restored a two-goal advantage with Adams beating off Lee Bradshaw to score close in. A delay followed soon after because of the ball being lost but, after a search though the College Lane trees, play continued.
Rye brought on Scott Ramsay to create late havoc. The ex-Albion reserve almost scored with a long-range blast, and then during added time he set up Adams, who was tripped by Peter Hibbert. Adams converted the resulting spot-kick for his hat-trick.
City’s joint boss Neil Sherlock commented: “Although results haven’t yet gone our way, we have played very strong sides so far - five out of seven games have been against top-end-of-the-table opposition - and we have competed, so positives can be taken from this.
“We must keep believing in ourselves and it’s all about being brave, getting the ball down and playing football and making the right decisions – results will then follow.”
CITY: Evans, Cody, Prior, Hibbert, Boniface, Bradshaw, D Smith, Blatchford, Dormer, T Smith, Cotton. Subs: Gilbert, Lambert, Parsons.