TOWN FAIL TO AVOID CUP BANANA SKIN
Chichester City 1 Enfield Town 0
A record attendance of 515 at Oaklands Park saw the West Sussex hosts deservedly progress into the FA Cup 4th qualifying round. Newly promoted to Isthmian South East Division, the Lillywhites eagerly collected another scalp in their sixth match in this season’s competition against an off colour Town.
Already blunted by the unavailability of Mo Faal and Billy Bricknell, the visitors also lost skipper Marc Weatherstone with a fitness issue at the very last moment and, early in the game, Lewis Taaffe with a hamstring problem.
The opening period was strangely subdued, and Nathan McDonald was the first of the two goalkeepers to be called into action. After a Lloyd Rowlatt effort had ended up closer to the corner flag than the goal, he then mustered a more accurate shot with his left foot, but McDonald gathered relatively comfortably. A great tackle by Glenn Wilson on Kaleem Haitham as he was about to shoot provided further evidence that this was not going to be a straightforward afternoon.
A long free kick was nodded down by Scott Jones just out of the reach of the onrushing Jamie Horncastle; McDonald gathering. Town’s first goal attempt arrived on 14 minutes when Sam Hatton tested home keeper Steven Mowthorpe from an acute angle. After 23 minutes Horncastle got in a powerful shot from distance which McDonald beat downwards before grabbing the ball at the second attempt.
Town forced a couple of corners without really threatening, and then it was the turn of Ken Charles to fashion an opening but find the angle far too tight to beat Mowthorpe. Five minutes before the break Josh Clack’s cross-cum-shot flew to McDonald’s right but, thankfully from an Enfield perspective, out of harm’s way.
Half-time: Chichester City 0 Enfield Town 0
Immediately after the break a fine jinking run from Charles, starting on the left before cutting inside, produced a low shot which Mowthorpe dealt with without fuss. Jones and former Bognor and Worthing man Corey Heath were off target before McDonald saved well from Heath’s free kick, parrying the ball low to his left with Joe Payne completing the clearance.
In the 65th minute, Clack was inches wide and Chichester appeared to be building a head of steam. A minute later the hosts could have been forgiven for thinking it perhaps wasn’t going the be their day when Horncastle struck a post with McDonald beaten. In the 69th minute Sam Youngs did well to get in a shot but Mowthorpe was equal to it, pushing the ball around the post.
With ten minutes left, centre back and skipper Connor Cody went on a run through the middle, but he could only flick the ball into McDonald’s arms at the end of it. With thoughts of a replay coming into focus for some spectators, Chichester ignored the clock ticking down and fashioned a move down the right hand side which ended with Rowlatt smashing the ball into the Enfield net via at least one defender to send the home crowd into raptures. The £3,750 for losing clubs at this stage of the competition will do absolutely nothing to appease the bitter disappointment of this result.
Chichester City: Steven Mowthorpe, Ryan Davidson, Rob Hutchings, Matt Axell (Callum Overton 76), Connor Cody, Corey Heath, Josh Clack, Jamie Horncastle, Scott Jones, Lloyd Rowlatt, Kaleem Haitham (Rory Biggs 90). Unused subs: Gicu Iordache, Emmett Dunn, Ryan Peake, Denis Gurau, Ant Ender.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Sam Hatton, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Glenn Wilson, Jon Muleba, Lewis Taaffe (Charles Brown 7, Junior Mubiayi 76), Ryan Blackman, Alex Read (Roman Campbell 83), Sam Youngs, Ken Charles. Unused subs: Marc Weatherstone, Nathan Livings, Gideon Nsiah, Tyler Forde. Booked: Wilson, Campbell.
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