Chichester City's winning form takes a turn at Herne Bay - report and highlights
It was an afternoon to forget for Chichester City as their climb up the Isthmian south east table suffered a setback with a 2-0 defeat at Herne Bay.
A goal in each half for the hosts was enough to see off a City side who rarely threatened.
Former West Ham product Anthony Edgar scored on his debut after signing a day before the game and a Ryan Cooper goal just past the hour mark made sure the visitors recent winning run would come to an end in north Kent.
Bay came into the encounter on the back of an eventful away win against Guernsey which saw them score three goals in the last five minutes of the first half..
City manager Miles Rutherford made one change to the side who beat a spirited East Grinstead team as Gicu Iordache came in for Kaleem Haitham on the wing while Corey Heath returned to the bench in place of Rory Biggs.
It was the visitors who dominated the early stages as Herne Bay struggled to get any rhythm to their play.
Chichester created the first opening of the game through Iordache, but his deflected effort failed to trouble keeper George Kamusari, who has recently featured on Sky Sports' Soccer AM show.
City pressed for the opener and Lloyd Rowlatt played in Josh Clack down the wing and the No7 looked to pick out Lloyd Rowlatt with a dangerous cross but the Herne Bay defence put in a vital interception.
Iordache tried his luck from long distance once more but the Romanian couldn’t direct his shot on target.
For all the Chichester possession it was the hosts who made the breakthrough against the run of play on 17 minutes as Edgar latched on to a through-ball from Zak Ansah and drilled a composed low drive across Steve Mowthorpe which nestled in the bottom corner.
The away side looked to get back on level terms and Scott Jones' low cross had to be well defended by the Bay backline. Chi captain Connor Cody, playing at full-back, had a couple of efforts from the edge of the box, neither calling Kamusari into action.
At the other end Mowthorpe had to be quick of his line to smother a loose ball after shaky defending by Chi. Edgar almost got his and Herne Bay’s second as a delightful pass from Dan Lawrence sent the winger through down the left and he tried to repeat his earlier goal with a low cross-shot but the ball went wide.
A couple of Chichester chances at the end of the half were squandered - first a Rowlatt corner was swung in and Cody’s outstretched leg could only divert the ball over from inside 12 yards. Then Clack did well down the left to cut in on to his favoured right foot and curled an effort inches past the post.
There was a shaky start to the second half for Mowthorpe, who sliced a kick out to touch, but he did well to claim a dangerous Bay corner. Cody won City a corner and Matt Axell swung the ball in, and it fell to his midfield partner Jamie Horncastle on the edge of the box, but his attempt was quickly charged down.
Iordache then had a wild shot go well wide as Chichester continued to fail to hit the target.
Bay were far more dominant in the second half and looked particularly threatening down both wings through Kieron Campbell and Tushan Tyreese-Walters. Hutchings picked up the game's first yellow as a late sliding tackle on Tyreese-Walters prevented a promising counter-attack for the hosts.
Herne Bay doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Tyreese-Walters continued to cause problems and fed Cooper, who was available on the overlap, and his drilled low cross somehow eluded everyone to creep into the bottom corner.
Chichester had their best chance of reducing the deficit, but Jones’ tame shot was straight into Kamurasi’s arms after Rowlatt had played him one on one. Then at the opposite end Campbell curled a fine shot just past Mowthorpe’s goal. The City keeper had to be alert moments later to come off his line to thwart both Edgar and Ansah.
Rutherford rang the changes across the final 20 minutes with George Cody, Haitham and Emmett Dunn coming on for Hutchings, Gicu and Horncastle.
A strong Herne Bay finish followed as they searched for a killer third. Ben Pashley was caught on the ball by Ansah and the Bay man raced through on goal, but his shot cannoned off the upright. Ansah again had a chance to get on the scoresheet but Mowthorpe pulled off a great diving save to tip the ball round the post.
Campbell was next to force a save out of Mowthorpe which the shot stopper spilled but substitute Chris Saunders could only blaze over the rebound.
Haitham was dispossessed in a dangerous area and Tom Carlton drove at goal and fired a powerful shot at Mowthorpe’s near post but a strong hand was enough to turn the ball behind for a corner.
With the last action of the game, a free-kick was taken by Clack and Kamurasi was finally called into action as he got down to his right to keep his clean sheet intact and palm the ball away. The loss leaves Chichester six points off the play-off places.
Next up for City is a trip to Burgess Hill Town in the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday (7:30pm), followed by a home fixture against Haywards Heath Town in the league on Saturday.
Chichester City: Mowthorpe, C Cody, Hutchings, Axell, Peake, Pashley, Clack, Horncastle, Jones, Rowlatt, Iordache. Subs: G Cody, Heath, Dunn, Bennetts, Haitham.