Beaten at Beckenham: Chichester have an off-day
Chichester produced a very disappointing performance against determined hosts Beckenham and crashed to a 16-8 defeat in London one south.
Chi made many mistakes, missed penalty chances, lacked variety in their play and lost two key forwards with injuries.
Beckenham’s scrum and lineout had the upper hand and their backs defended strongly in the second half.
The sides scored just one try each, but Beckenham landed a conversion and three penalties to Chi’s single penalty. Blues will want to forget a depressing afternoon.
Having been delayed in south London traffic, Chichester arrived only an hour before kick-off.
Chichester made six changes. Josh Cameron and Chris Johnson came into the pack, Matt McLagan, Tom Blewitt and Toby Golds returned in the backs and Ben Deavall was on the bench. Joe Woods made his 100th first XV appearance.
The pitch was in remarkably good condition with a large and vocal crowd present.
Beckenham kicked off and a knock-on put Chichester under immediate pressure on their 22m line. It was the home team who were first on the scoreboard, with a penalty kick from 25 metres after a Blues’ infringement, 3-0 after five minutes.
Beckenham doubled their lead on 13 minutes with a second penalty, 6-0.
Despite playing in the opposition half for long periods Chichester were being dominated in the scrum and couldn’t find a way through a determined Beckenham defence. Several moves close to the try line were halted by knock-ons and turnovers.
Blues finally got on the scoreboard after 24 minutes after the home team infringed within kicking distance, 6-3.
The Beckenham response was almost immediate and a well-worked move from their backs saw the left winger breeze through the Blues’ defence to score under the posts, converted to make it 13-3.
At half-time the Chichester supporters reflected on missed chances and whether keeping the scoreboard ticking over would have been a better option than going for tries.
Both sides came out of the traps looking to stamp their authority on the second half but play was scrappy and neither team could retain the ball.
On 52 minutes the referee produced a yellow card and Beckenham lost a man to the sin-bin. With the numerical advantage Blues made progress up the pitch and went through a series of pick and goes on the opposition 5m line before losing the ball.
Nick Blount’s pass found Rhys Thompson, whose offload created the overlap for Tyrese Makasi to race clear, but the referee judged the pass to be forward.
On 68 minutes a Thompson chip over the top ricocheted off a defender and he was on hand to hoof it down the pitch. Liam Rowland won the foot race to touch down, 13-8.
With the clock ticking down Chichester conceded another penalty within kicking range and Beckenham increased their lead, 16-8 and five minutes to go.
However, Blues weren’t going to go down without a fight and as they raised the tempo the home side started to concede penalties.
In the final five minutes Beckenham had another player sent to the sin bin and conceded two penalties in kicking distance. Unfortunately, neither kick was successful.
Chichester: Drayson, Cameron, Woods, Blount, Waqanisua O’Callaghan, Makasi, Johnson, Seaman, Baker, McLagan, Thompson, Blewitt, Golds, G Davies, Magda, Deavall, Rowland.
Chichester welcome the Honorable Artillery Company (HAC) to Oaklands Park on Saturday (2pm).