Chichester RFC will look to restore some pride after back-to-back defeats badly dented their hopes of promotion.
Scott Ashley’s side have had a poor start to 2018, losing out to local rivals Havant before a close 16-13 reverse to CS Rugby.
Those results have left a Chi side, who are decimated with injuries, sitting fourth in London One South – 16 points behind league leaders Medway.
Tomorrow sees the Blues travel to Cobham (2pm) as they look to get back to winning ways. They will be spurred on by their second half performance against a strong CS Rugby side which gave the Oaklands Park faithful encouragement but not the victory that they desired.
Club spokesman Roger Gould said: “Chichester nearly won this absorbing end-to-end battle against their strong second place opponents and can be proud of their performance.
“After a bad start when CS scored 13 points in 15 minutes, the Blues made a great recovery and were the better team in the second half.
“They restored their self-belief and commitment, the cornerstone of any success.
“In the end, their opponents were hanging on as Chi pressed for a winning try and must have returned to Chiswick greatly relieved to have won for the first time in four attempts against the hosts.
“CS are a very good outfit and should be able to secure at least a promotion play-off.”
Decimated by injuries, Chi had to make several changes for the match.
It was the visitors who made the quicker start, crossing twice and slotting home a penalty as the Blues’ injury-hit squad struggled to cut out the errors.
But, Ashley’s side rolled up their sleeves despite the setbacks, and a penalty to the Vultures’ corner set up a series of drives and mauls. After some pressure, Harry Seaman at scrum half pounced as only he can to touchdown at the rear of the bodies.
In the second period, Chi continued to put pressure on the visitors.
Both sides swapped penalties and, after some sustained attack, veteran Number 8 Ben Polhill smashed over for another score to make it 16-13.
Chi pushed for the winner in the final ten minutes but spurned a number of chances which left them short in the search for a win.