Chichester City in top three after battling win over Faversham

Scott Jones heads in the winner against Faversham / Picture by Neil Holmes
Scott Jones heads in the winner against Faversham / Picture by Neil Holmes

Second half goals from Gicu Iordache and Scott Jones made it three wins in four for the Isthmian south-east new boys as Chi City closed out a first month at step four in third place behind early pacesetters Cray Valley PM and Ashford United.

Miles Rutherford & Co went with the same starting XI that beat Burgess Hill on Bank Holiday Monday. Jimmy Wild, back at the club for another spell, joined Rory Biggs and Denis Gurau, a product of the youth set-up, on the bench. Faversham came into the game on the back of a 1-0 win over Kent rivals Hythe Town.

Speaking beforehand Chi coach Danny Potter said, “They have a reputation of being a good club at this level having regularly made the play-offs, however we’ve proved already that we’ll be a match for anyone in this division.

“We know that home form is vital in this league, it means less pressure when you travel to tough away games. With that in mind we must do all we can to get that first home win.”

Things didn’t start well for the home side and they fell behind in the eighth minute when a burst of pace from Anthony Adesite got him past Ryan Davidson down the left. The No10 played a precision cross to striker Max Morgan who gave Steve Mowthorpe no chance.

Adesite won Faversham, a team who like City are nicknamed the Lillywhites, a free-kick moments later that didn’t trouble Mowthorpe.

Chi struggled to get going and a neat exchange between Morgan and Donvieve Jones almost led to another chance but Mowthorpe and Rob Hutchings managed to tidy things up.

Lloyd Rowlatt sent Iordache away down the wing only for the Romanian to shoot wide before a powerful header from Faversham’s Jones went narrowly the wrong side of the upright. A mistake from Corey Heath gifted Michael Freiter an opportunity but MoM Mowthorpe pulled off a fine stop. And the Chichester keeper was called into action again four minutes before the break with an excellent double save to deny first Adesite and then Morgan.

There was still time for chances at either end. A clever flick from Iordache almost got Jones in before Mitchell Chapman nutmegged Axell in the Chi penalty box. Hutchings made a timely tackle and launched a counter-attack where Kaleem Haitham jinked through a couple of challenges but couldn’t pick out a teammate with his cut-back.

A minute later Haitham found a marauding Connor Cody only for his attempt to curl just round the post. And in the last move of the half nice play between Adesite and Steve Mills set up another opportunity for Faversham that was smuggled away by home side defenders.

Wild came on for Heath at the interval to partner Jones up top and it was Chichester’s leading scorer who was key in the equaliser two minutes after the restart when his bit of persistence and a smart flick led to a super cross from Davidson to Iordache who lashed the ball into the back of the net.

The tricky winger had another chance in the next attack with a cheeky attempt that might have caught Watkins out and crept in at the far post. Next Wild had a shot on the turn blocked and on 56 minutes a Rowlatt free kick deflected off the wall for the corner from which Chi scored what would prove to be the winner.

Axell delivered the ball and Davidson nodded it back into the six-yard box to the in-form Jones who headed in his fourth goal in a week. Chi pressed and it might have been 3-1 on the hour mark but Watkins somehow palmed away Cody’s firm header from another Axell corner. Watkins punched the ensuing corner away and blocked Axell’s follow up.

Faversham spurned a real chance to equalise when Morgan couldn’t find the target after a measured cross from the right. Morgan then linked up with Makhosini Khanye and Chapman only for Ben Pashley to clear the final downwards header. Chichester had a goal ruled out for an infringement on Watkins in the 70th minute before Wild fired a shot just over the bar.

Things quietened down for a bit as Chi, conscious maybe of the last home fixture against Whyteleafe which they lost late on, looked to take the sting out of the game. Cody made a fine tackle to break up Khanye’s determined run and Mowthorpe was on hand to deny Adesite with seven minutes to go. And the City shot-stopper came off his line in commanding fashion to claim Khanye’s set-piece in the three minutes of time added on.

Chi have a break from league action this week. They entertain Hastings in the Velocity Trophy at Oaklands Park on Tuesday (September 3, 7.45pm) under the lights then face Chalfont St Peter in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup at home on Saturday).

Chichester: Mowthorpe, Davidson, Hutchings, Axell. Cody, Pashley, Iordache, Heath, Jones, Rowlatt, Haitham. Subs: Biggs, Wild, Gurau, Overton.