Chichester City's FA Trophy run ended by Great Wakering Rovers
First half goals from Jake Gordon and George Cox helped Essex side Great Wakering Rovers beat Chichester City 2-1 in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
Miles Rutherford & Co made three changes to the starting XI that played so well in the first 45 mid-week only to lose 1-0 at Three Bridges but it was the visitors, with only one point from their five Isthmian North games, that started brightly and Ben Pashley headed clear in the opening minute after a neat move involving Charlie Morris, Danny Hurford and Cox.
Both Pashley and midfielder Emmett Dunn had to head away a minute or so later after Corey Heath misplaced a pass. Mitchell Gilbey and Cox were involved next in a smart Rovers move as a clever flick set up Morris for a cross Chi keeper Kieran Magee collected. The hosts’ No1 then mishit a clearance that gave Heath something to think about.
Magee was beaten on 9 minutes by a super effort from fully 25 yards as Gordon found the back of the net. A super Dunn diagonal ball picked out Rob Hutchings who exchanged a pass with Scott Jones only to have his shot blocked. Jones then whipped in a delivery which was turned out for the first corner of the game. Hutchings sent this over but Tom Brown punched the ball cleanly away.
Rovers striker Martin Tuohy got in three minutes later only for a bit of composed defending from Heath to enable him to tidy things up before Heath hooked another cross clear. Jones might have levelled on 17 minutes but hit the post sliding in to meet Ben Mendoza’s delivery. Heath then went shoulder to shoulder in a foot race with Gilbey and at the other end Jones got to a through ball but shot off target.
Jamie Horncastle sent Chi on a counter attack in the 20th minute and hooked up with Kaleem Haitham and Callum Overton in a move where Brown spilled Connor Cody’s delivery, although no one was there to capitalise. Quick feet from Haitham drew a foul from William Harris who got a talking to from the referee. Mendoza tried his luck from distance but the visitors’ No1 got behind it easily enough.
And then Brown’s counterpart pulled off the save of the match after Hurford squared a free-kick to Gordon and Magee spectacularly palmed his attempt on to the post and out for a corner. Brown was forced into a save by Haitham following an excellent first touch and Dunn drove into the box but Overton couldn’t get a connection on the final cross.
Gordon drilled one wide of the left hand stick just before Cox picked up the first yellow card of the game for a heavy challenge on Hutchings that might have been a red on another day. Pushing and shoving ensued and Horncastle also went into the ref’s notebook. Cody opened up the away side’s midfield with one of those mazy runs where he drifted past several players only to overhit his pass to Mendoza.
Next Pashley charged down a Tuohy effort before some perseverance by Jones earned Chi a corner that came to nothing. And a couple of minutes before half time Rovers doubled their lead when Cox found Morris and then stabbed his cross home pouncing on the loose ball.
Tyrone Madhani came on for Jones at the break and was soon in the thick of things combining with Mendoza and Dunn with a move which resulted in Hutchings’ shot being diverted for a corner that Brown tipped away under pressure. Pashley, Cody and Hutchings then linked up and the Chi left back was bundled over in the box but a corner rather than a penalty was given.
The hosts forced another one after Haitham’s effort nicked off a defender. Hutchings found Cody but his downward header was cleared off the line for a corner which Heath headed powerfully just over the bar. The visitors sat deep for the opening 10 but Gilbey pulled an attempt wide in a rare attack and a Gordon pass got sub Adam Vyse away only for Magee to beat him to the ball.
Dunn was then dispossessed in the centre of the park but his back four managed to deal with it. Haitham and Cody got Chi going again down the right flank and Overton was inches away from getting to an exquisite cross by the club captain. Harris next curled an effort just wide of the frame of the goal and Gordon skewed one off target this time.
Ethan Prichard replaced Heath before Norris blazed a shot over the bar. And with 15 minutes to go a nice finish from Madhani with his fifth goal in five games of the last seven got Chi back into the match. Haitham was fouled two minutes later and Madhani’s free kick caused Rovers defenders problems – a header was blocked, as was Prichard’s follow up shot.
Madhani whipped over a lovely ball towards Prichard but he couldn’t keep his header down and was flagged offside anyway. Brown had to keep his wits about him in the 83rd minute after a cross nicked off a player and almost looped over him. Chances came and went for Chi as Cody got over the ball too much from the edge of the area and Dunn headed into the side-netting in the five minutes of time added on.
Miles Rutherford’s men are back in league action next as they travel to second-placed Cray Valley Paper Mills on Saturday 16th October (Kick Off 3pm).
Chichester – Magee, Cody, Hutchings, Horncastle, Heath, Pashley, Mendoza, Dunn, Jones, Overton, Haitham. Subs: (Prichard, Axell, Hyde, Madhani, Carroll)