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Chi aiming to ‘sneak’ into a play-off place

Miles Rutherford says if Chichester City can secure a play-off spot it will cap an “absolutely fantastic” season.


But he admits he does not know if another promotion would be a good thing for the club in the short-term.


Chichester eased to a 3-1 victory over Sevenoaks Town last Saturday but had their game with Haywards Heath postponed on Tuesday night.


They sit sixth in the table, six points off the last play-off position with three games in hand on Herne Bay who occupy the last spot.


Boss Rutherford told The Post: “We are looking now to just sneak into the play-offs.


“We shall see how we end up as we do have some tough games in the run-in.”


Chi only won promotion to the BetVictor South East from the Southern Combination Football premier this season but could now be eyeing successive jumps up the footballing pyramid.


Rutherford concedes Chi’s success has been something of an eye-opener, even to him and the rest of his management team.


He said: “We did not really add more then three or four players to the squad which came up from the County League.


“Most of the squad were playing County League before but we have had a great season.


“We shall just keep it going and if we end up in the play-offs it will be an absolutely fantastic season.”


Their return to form in the league follows a dip after an incredible FA Cup run earlier in the campaign which ended at Tranmere Rovers in the second round.


The finances from that cup success will underpin the club at this level for another couple of seasons.


The danger is another promotion could stretch the squad’s resources.


Rutherford said: “As a club, of course we would go as far as we can but I don’t know whether it would be the right thing for Chichester City at this moment but it is something we would just have to get on with.


“If we were to go up again I don’t know if we are financially in a position to do so but we’d just have to get on with and see where we end up at the end of it.”


He added: “It would be fantastic for the club but it could also be a bad thing, which no one can doubt, because you do not want to overstretch yourself.


“We wouldn’t do that, though, and would not go and spend money that we do not have.”


Rutherford revealed the club are exploring the possibility with the council of having an artificial pitch at Oaklands Park.


Rutherford said: “Things are going on behind the scenes but if that was to happen over the next couple of years, then we would be in a lot better place.”


Chi, like most clubs, have had a lot of games postponed this season but also struggle for training facilities.


Clubs such as Eastbourne Borough, Worthing and Horsham all have artificial surfaces and have reaped the rewards.


Chi head to 16th-placed Sittingbourne tomorrow boosted by a return to winning ways last Saturday when they sunk Sevenoaks.


After the midweek defeat to Ashford United, Chi responded as goals from Matt Axell, Lloyd Rowlatt and Ryan Davidson secured a fifth win in six games.


Axell curled in a third-minute opener but Frankie Sawyer tapped home a 27th-minute leveller.


Chi went back in front two minutes later when Rowlatt stabbed in after a Josh Clack free-kick was parried.


Davidson fired in the third after 78 minutes when the keeper could only block a Clack strike.

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