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City ready for FA Cup history

Chichester City are ready to make FA Cup history – with a place in the fourth qualifying round and at least £17,500 up for grabs.


Miles Rutherford’s side have made it to two rounds before the first round proper for the first time in the club’s history.


The Isthmian South East side, who are currently third in their debut campaign at step four, beat Hampshire side Hartley Wintney in the last round after a replay.


Now they have a sterner test with high ranked Enfield Town coming to Oaklands Park tomorrow (3pm).


The north London side are currently fourth in the Isthmian Premier, losing just once in eight league matches.


But if they can spring an upset, Chi will be awarded £11,250 in prize money. They will also secure at least a further £6,250 which goes to the losers of the fourth qualifying round.


But it is not the prize money that will interest the club the most, it is the prospect that victory puts them just one win away from a tie against league opponents such as Portsmouth or Sunderland.


The match will also bring back memories of Chichester’s run to the first round proper of the FA Cup in 1960/61 when they were defeated 11-0 by Bristol City.


That was before the merger with Portfield and the club’s roll of honour being re-set.


But for long-term followers for the club it serves as a reminder that City are capable of springing a shock.


Rutherford’s side will go into the match full of confidence after breaking yet more history after winning in the FA Trophy for the first time last weekend.


A depleted Chi beat league rivals Three Bridges 2-1 in the non-league knockout competition thanks to first half goals from Matt Axell and Lloyd Rowlatt.


When the sides met ten days earlier at Oaklands Park in a league encounter, Chi couldn’t find a way past an inspired Kieron Thorp.


But this time the Bridges’ keeper was beaten after barely ten minutes, Axell calmly slotting his spot-kick to Thorp’s left after Gicu Iordache had been fouled by Tadley Bromage.


The visitors should have been level moments later but an unmarked Andre Sesay headed wide.


After 20 minutes Chi doubled their lead. A trademark turn of pace from Kaleem Haitham saw him past trailing players to find Rowlatt. The midfielder took time to pick his spot and drilled the ball beyond a despairing Thorp.


The visitors pulled one back shortly after the restart. Chi keeper Steve Mowthorpe was annoyed with himself as Andre McCollin curled it into the bottom right hand corner


It was the first one conceded by Miles Rutherford’s side in open play in just over 500 minutes. Buoyed by this, the visitors piled on some pressure. Sesay headed off target and Mowthorpe palmed a drive away.


Chi travel to Bedfordshire for the next round of the FA Trophy to play Barton Rovers on Saturday, October 12 (3pm).


A third game in three weeks with Three Bridges is set for October 8 at Jubilee Field this time in the Velocity Trophy (7.45pm).

Posted in Sport.