Chichester City - the team that just don’t get on with the FA Cup

Action from Chi's opening league game, a win over Newhaven / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Action from Chi's opening league game, a win over Newhaven / Picture by Kate Shemilt

A Luci Scarlat goal in time added on dumped Chi out of the FA Cup extra preliminary round in the Kent side’s first home fixture in the competition.

Miles Rutherford’s team have a good record against Kent outfits in the FA Vase but the FA Cup has proved a tougher proposition and a below-par performance at Honey Lane resulted in a 2-1 defeat and an exit at this round for the third season in a row.

Dan Hegarty gave the visitors a dream start when he rose to powerfully head home a corner after barely three minutes.

Despite the lead Chichester struggled to settle and Scarlat spurned a good opportunity for the hosts in the eighth minute when he dragged his shot wide following a mistake at the back.

Dave Herbert’s effort on the turn was gathered easily enough by Bears keeper Scott Andrews.

Chi threatened again when some super skill from summer signing Guci Iordache helped him drift past a few defenders.

At the other end Ben Pashley did well to block an effort after Ellis Martin slipped.

Martin found George Way with a clever free-kick but the midfielder’s shot nicked off a player for a corner. Martin whipped this in towards Scott Jones and Connor Cody but neither could get a decent connection.

Scarlat and David Baranowski linked up well in a Bearsted attack down the left flank for a shot that was turned away.

Chichester lost Martin with a groin strain on 20 minutes and replacement Steve Herbert was soon in the thick of things.

A wayward cross from Scarlat did little to trouble Jordan Matthews before Terrell Lewis headed clear a delivery from the right by Reece Collins. Cody headed wide when Jones found him with a cross.

Bearsted created but missed numerous chances before Dave Herbert and Way both had efforts blocked after good work from Iordache.

Pashley was in the right place to head away a chance from a corner from under his bar.

Five minutes into the second half Tiago Andrade teed up Jones, only for a defender to get in a timely tackle.

The all-important second goal wouldn’t come for the visitors and they paid the price on 56 minutes when a low shot from Baranowski squirmed under Matthews to make it 1-1.

Both teams had goals disallowed for offside before Herbert saw an effort blocked after nice play from Iordache.

There was a hotly disputed penalty appeal turned down by the referee for the Bears and Matt Garner crashed a header against the bar.

Rutherford and Bearsted manager Kevin Stevens made changes. Rob Hutchings and Kaleem Haitham were introduced for Chichester up front in a bid to find a winner.

Haitham and Hegarty threatened for Chi while Bears sub Peter Williams headed over at the other end.

Just when it seemed a replay was on the cards Scarlat broke Chi hearts in the 93rd minute with a neat finish.

Chichester now turn their attention back to the SCFL premier – they host Horsham YMCA on Saturday (3pm) and Broadbridge Heath next Tuesday (7.45pm).

Chichester: Matthews, Lewis, Martin, Way, Cody, Pashley, Jones, Hegarty, Dave Herbert, Andrade, Iordache. Subs: Peake, Steve Herbert, Ndlovu, Haitham, Hartley.

by IAN WORDEN

Lions through in FA Cup

Rocks get winning home start