Chichester City hit the FA Vase trail on Saturday – and reckon they have a decent chance of making the last 32.
They travel to face fellow Southern Combination League premier-division side Newhaven knowing there’s big money up for grabs as well as a chance to get ever closer to the Wembley final.
Winners of this weekend’s third-round matches will pocket £975 and find themselves just four rounds from a place in the final.
City have already beaten Whitstable, Sheppey (after a replay), Ash and Canterbury City in the competiton and excitement is growing among players and fans during the run.
Saturday’s visit to take on the Dockers comes with Miles Rutherford’s team in fine form.
They have won five and dawn one of their past six SCFL games – the most recent success a 6-1 hammering of Hailsham on Saturday in which Dan Hegarty scored four (report below).
Rutherford has told the Observer: “Every club at this level sees the FA Vase as a massive competition and we are no different.
“I’ve been pleased with ho we’ve performed so far this season and to reach the national stages would be great.”
Chichester City 6 Hailsham 1
SCFL premier division
Four goals by Dan Heggarty helped Chichester City thump Hailsham 6-1 at Oaklands Park.
City, without talisman Scott Jones, wasted a handful of chances in the first quarter of an hour but the deadlock was broken in the 18th minute by Josh Clack.
Following good play on the wing, Harry Williams controlled a perfect cross and laid the ball off neatly to Clack, who tucked it away.
Hailsham got back into it in the 38th minute. A lapse in concentration in the Chichester defence let Thomas Johnson in to guide the ball into the net.
Heggarty scored his first of the game four minutes later. He latched on to a flick and sent the keeper the wrong way to give the home side a well-deserved lead at half-time.
Chichester didn’t waste any time after the break. Jake Gale, wearing the No9 shirt in Jones’ absence, scored his team’s third, effectively putting the game to bed.
After a cut-back from the wing, Gale composed himself and drilled the ball into the corner of the net.
Harry Watts and Clack were dangerous on the wings throughout, the latter creating the fourth for Chichester and second for Heggarty with a magnificent through-ball which was tucked away with ease.
Heggarty completed his hat-trick in the 59th minute after another great ball by Williams, bulleting a header into the back of the net to make the score 5-1.
Unselfish play by Watts after a fine run, when he might have taken a shot himself, gave Heggarty his fourth and final goal. Clack might have added a seventh late on.
This was another impressive Chichester display that put them level on points with third-placed Pagham.
* City’s planned Sussex Senior Cup visit to Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday was postponed because the home team had an FA Trophy replay.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking sports news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
Share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!