Maidstone defeat shows Chichester City bosses the good points - and bad ones
Darin Killpartrick says Chichester City’s FA Cup defeat to Maidstone United shows how far they have come – and how far they have to go.
City pushed their National League South visitors all way in Saturday’s second qualifying round tie at Oaklands Park before bowing out in a 3-1 defeat.
Coach Killpartrick said it was a performance that showed how the team were gradually improving after a tough start to the 2021-22 – but also a game that showed areas of their game where there was still plenty of room for improvement.
Chi had a badly disrupted pre-season and opened their Isthmian south east campaign with two defeats.
Since then, they have done well in the Cup and stand-out league results have included home wins over Lancing (4-1) and Whitehawk (6-1).
Killpartrick said: “We had such a bad pre-season with Covid, injuries and a lot of players unavailable.
“Now. we’re still away from where we want to be in terms of fitness levels and other factors but there are signs that the rhythm is coming.
“The Maidstone game was a yardstick, a measure of how far we have progressed. It showed some things we are really pleased with and uncovered a few bits we still need to do a lot of work on.
“We had more possession than Maidstone but they were clinical. Our defending from set-pieces led to their first goal and that’s one area we need to work on. But when you play a side two divisions higher, it’s a massive learning curve so you have to use it to your advantage.”
Killpartrick has been pleased to see a number of the club’s under-18s and 23s getting their chance in the first team, and he said the long-term aim was to have pathway where top local youngsters could work their way from junior sides to City’s first team.
Star performer in recent games has been Tyrone Madhani, who has scored in three straight games on loan from Bognor, but his longer-term future is uncertain.
City host their Isthmian south east rivals Whitstable in the FA Trophy first qualifying round on Saturday. Killpartrick said: “It will be a difficult game but having gone out of the FA Cup it would be nice to have a little run in the Trophy.”