Whitehawk walloped as Chichester City hit six
Chichester hit Whitehawk for six in an impressive performance ahead of the FA Cup clash with Maidstone United at Oaklands Park.
The shell-shocked visitors were 2-0 down inside the opening seven minutes thanks to a couple of composed Callum Overton finishes before pulling one back from the spot as Javaun Splatt calmly tucked away his penalty kick. Rob Hutchings then made it 3-1, Lloyd Rowlatt added a fourth and Gicu Iordache grabbed another on the stroke of half time.
Tyrone Madhani, who secured a point for Chi last time out at Ramsgate, came off the bench again and wrapped things up in the 66th minute to seal the club’s biggest ever Step 4 win.
There were three changes to the starting XI that faced the Kent side at the weekend. Rob Hutchings and Ryan Davidson returned at left and right back respectively and Lewis Hyde partnered captain Connor Cody in the centre of the defence.
In a pulsating opening Overton put the hosts in front latching on to Ethan Prichard’s smart pass and then scored a second within two minutes after some super ‘see you later’ skill from Rowlatt. The Hawks were under the cosh and keeper Nathan Stroomberg did well to stop Rowlatt’s shot with eight minutes on the clock and then won the game’s first corner which was cleared easily enough by Hutchings at the near post.
Next Iordache blasted an effort high and wide before Hutchings guided an intelligent through ball from the visitors’ skipper Henry Muggeridge out for another corner which Rheo Josephs hit too deep. Iordache then had an attempt blocked and Davidson defended thoughtfully to deny James Fraser and Splatt.
The Whitehawk No9 was caught in the box in the subsequent attack at the mid-point and picked himself up to pull a goal back as Chi conceded a penalty for the second match in a row. Davidson, who won everything in the air, headed away Josephs’ corner and Kieran Magee came out to claim a cross from the left before Splatt linked up with Omarr Lawson whose shot skewed over the bar.
Cody and Iordache exchanged passes but the Romanian’s effort on the half hour mark was blocked and the Chi captain headed a delivery from the right flank wide. Prichard called Stroomberg into action and then a defender denied Rowlatt. Hutchings got to the loose ball first but his drive from distance was diverted for a corner. The Chi left back took this and beat the Hawks keeper at his near post. And it was 4-1 moments later when Rowlatt rifled the ball into the back of the net.
The Hawks fans didn’t stop singing, to their credit. Emmett Dunn did well to block Splatt as he danced into the area and Magee claimed the resulting corner. Splatt then swung and missed in the next attack and Jamie Horncastle, who put in a real shift in the centre of the park, couldn’t quite manage to lob an out of position Stroomberg.
The hosts had a penalty shout dismissed when Prichard was bundled over and Iordache brought an eventful first 45 to a close with a nice goal just before half time. Whitehawk made two substitutions at the break – Leon Redwood and Callum Edwards replacing Simon Mensah and Josephs.
Edwards was booked for a heavy challenge on a marauding Prichard and joined in Paul Barber’s notepad by Cody on 50 minutes for impeding the Hawks sub. Neither set-piece came to anything and after all the drama in the first period the game petered out for ten minutes or so. Iordache forced Stroomberg into a fine save, had another go moments later and then couldn’t get to a Prichard cut-back.
This was Prichard’s last contribution and the 18-year-old made way for Madhani on the hour. Unsurprisingly further substitutions followed with Matt Axell replacing Rowlatt in the middle. Madhani scored Chi’s sixth capitalising on a slip by Redwood and cutting inside to beat Stroomberg for his second goal in four days.
Flori Vucaj was introduced for Davidson who hadn’t put a foot wrong in his first start after a hamstring injury. Magee, rarely tested all evening, got a strong hand on a shot from Lawson with 20 to go before Madhani opened the Hawks up but his effort didn’t have enough curl on it. Overton was then denied a hat-trick as his shot crashed against the underside of the bar and down on to the line.
Cody on one of those mazy runs of his played a neat one-two with Iordache only for his attempt to swerve wide of the right hand stick in the 88th minute. The win sends Chi into the top half of the Isthmian south east division, albeit after only five games, and Miles Rutherford’s side, unbeaten in four now, have scored 15 times in this run.
National League South side Maidstone United visit Oaklands Park in the FA Cup on Saturday (3pm).
Chichester: Magee, Davidson, Hutchings, Horncastle, Cody, Hyde, Dunn, Rowlatt, Overton, Iordache, Prichard. Subs: Vucaj, Axell, Madhani, Heath, Pashley.