It was a Cup of woe for Chichester City and Selsey - both crashed out of the FA Cup at their first hurdle.
Chi City 2 Mole Valley 3
FA Cup extra prelim rd
TEN-MAN Chichester were knocked out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle in a nail-biter against Mole Valley at Oaklands Park.
City could have scored on 31 minutes when a Lewis Edwards free-kick hit the post and the rebound was saved by keeper Gavin Dilley, although the flag had been raised.
Three minutes before half-time Mole Valley broke the deadlock when Chris Hugill converted Richard Smith’s corner.
Chichester levelled in the 49th minute in bizarre circumstances.
A high ball dropped into the goalmouth, Dilley missed it completely and defender Rob McCarry clipped it in. The linesman flagged for offside but was over-ruled by the referee.
On 58 minutes the Moles regained the lead with Michael Campbell cutting in from the right and craftily sending a delicate lob over the top of Anthony Ender. It seemed all over for City when Alex Fowlie was dismissed soon after. The former Hayling United defender appeared to be unsighted while going for the ball and clashing with an opponent.
Worse was to come when a petty free-kick was given against City and Nathan Oliver’s delivery was headed in by Harry Smart.
But City produced a grandstand finish. With two minutes remaining Joe Gromett went on a solo run and buried the ball past Dilley to reduce the deficit. Moles’ Todd Sullivan was booked for refusing to hand the ball back.
One could sense an equaliser might come when the home side gained a last-gasp corner, with Ender rushing up to join the attack. In a scramble, the ball bounced an inch from the goal-line and hit the post.
CITY: Ender, Williams, Northeast, Fowlie, Hegarty, Gilbert, Groom, F Smith, Gromett, Woolf, Edwards. Subs: Ansa, Burden, Silvester.
Selsey 0 Fisher 3
Extra preliminary round
The Blues’ FA Cup dreams are over almost before they have begun after a below-par showing against Fisher.
Selsey manager Steve Bailey felt the positive performance his young new-look side had shown in their opening two league games simply wasn’t there.
“It was a fair result – we just didn’t turn up,” he said. “Maybe some of the youngsters got a bit too excited because it was the FA Cup.”
Fisher led 2-0 at the break and there was little threat of a Blues fightback.
Bailey is confident better results are imminent and hopes they can open their league account at home to Ringmer on Saturday and at Arundel on Bank Holiday Monday.