More cup drama for Chichester City as last season's heroes hit the trail again

Boss Miles Rutherford and coach Danny Potter praised the character of ten-man Chichester City as they came back from 2-0 down to beat Basingstoke Town in a penalty shootout in the FA Cup.

Scorer Josh Clack on the attack v Basingstoke / Picture Neil Holmes
Scorer Josh Clack on the attack v Basingstoke / Picture Neil Holmes

Things looked bleak for City’s hopes of even a fraction of the Cup success that grabbed national headlines a season ago when they went 2-0 down and had Rob Hutchings sent off for a deliberate handball as he tried to prevent a certain goal.

City got back in the game just before the break thanks to new signing Ryan Penny.

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Josh Clack equalised in the second half to set up a tense penalty shootout in which keeper Steve Mowthorpe made two saves and Matt Axell scored the final spot-kick to make it 3-1 to the visitors.

Chi and Town await a set-piece / Picture Neil Holmes

Rutherford said: “In the first half Basingstoke deserved to be 2-0 up then we had a man sent off for handball.

“But it was great character we showed and we’re happy.

"No-one expects City to go as far as they did last season but Rutherford said: “That was some feat last year and I shouldn’t think many will repeat that, but it will be fantastic if someone does.”

Chi were without four key players and Bradley Wilson put Town ahead after the referee overruled his assistant’s flag for offside.

George Hallahan doubled his side’s lead from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute and Chi were down to ten after Hutchings saw red for handball.

On the stroke of half time Ethan Prichard burst down the left flank and cut the ball back to Penny, who slotted in.

Chi drew level on 69 minutes as Clack steered home a Jones delivery.

In the shootout, after a miss for each side, Ben Pashley put Chi one up and Mowthorpe denied Armsworth.

Lloyd Rowlatt made it 2-0 after Aiden Lewis missed Basingstoke’s third.

Debutant Declan Seiden could have wrapped it up for City but struck his kick against the bar. But after Town made it 2-1, Axell sent Chi into the next round.

Coach Danny Potter picked out Mowthorpe and defender Ben Pashley for praise after City’s battling display.

“When we went two down and had Rob sent off we rolled the dice and said ‘let’s just go toe to toe with themn despite being a man down’. We stuck to our principles and it paid off.

“It was a good, open competitive game and it would have been great to go to a replay, but we were delighted to get through.”

Chichester host Bristol-based Cribbs in the first qualifying round next Tuesday, but before that they welcome Ramsgate for their first league match on Saturday.