Centre half Corey Heath has arrived on an initial month’s loan from higher division Chi and will make his debut in Tuesday’s Russell Cotes Cup quarter final tie against Lymington at Dover Road.
Heath will replace Tom Cain, who serves a one-game ban for his sending off in the niggly New Year’s Day Wessex League derby loss against Baffins.
After that, Moneys boss Glenn Turnbull faces the dilemma of whether to keep Heath as the central figure in a back three with Cain reverting to the left side.
Cain has experience of playing on the left side of a three during his last two seasons at US Portsmouth where Tom Jeffes was in the middle.
Moneys are due to host Portland in the league next Saturday before welcoming Wessex table-toppers Horndean to Dover Road.
Moneys are not short of defensive options but Turnbull - not for the first time in recent months - stated: ‘We have to stop shipping goals.’
Moneys have kept only three clean sheets in 19 league games, the last time against Alton on November 6.
‘I phoned Miles (Rutherford, Chi manager) to see if he had anyone we could borrow for a month and he suggested Corey.
‘I think he’s played regularly this season until recently. It’s a win-win - it’ll help him, help us and help Chichester.’
Heath has made 15 league and cup appearances for Isthmian Leaguers Chi this season, the last in a 5-1 home win over Faversham a week before Christmas.
He was part of the eighth tier Chi team that held out for 62 minutes at Tranmere in the second round of the FA Cup in 2019/20 before eventually losing 5-1 at Prenton Park.
Heath is the second experienced centre half Turnbull has signed since the season started. Ellis Martin has made four league starts but the manager said the move ‘has not quite worked out.’
Turnbull is not yet ready to abandon his favoured 3-5-2 system in a bid to become tighter at the back.
Though having experimented with a back four in a Wessex League Cup win against holders Hamworthy in November, it is something he could try again.
‘I don’t think it’s the shape,’ he commented. ‘I feel we are getting close to where we want to be.’
Moneys are taking the Lymington tie seriously with captain Steve Hutchings travelling back from working up country to play – the first ‘minor’ cup tie he has played this season.
‘If we did go 4-2-3-1 then Steve’s not had any experience of playing that system with us,’ Turnbull remarked.
‘Josh Bailey could be involved - it could be a chance for him to learn from playing with Steve.’
The likes of Bradey Norton, Mig Dark and Chad Cornwell were due to get reserve minutes last weekend before the Hampshire Premier League home game with Chamberlayne met a watery grave.
With no scheduled HPL game next Saturday either, the reserves are on the lookout for a friendly.