Travelling army of more than 1,000 set to follow Chichester City to Tranmere in FA Cup tie

Chi City fans at Bowers and Pitsea - and there will be more of them at the second round FA Cup tie / Picture: Daniel Harker
Chi City fans at Bowers and Pitsea - and there will be more of them at the second round FA Cup tie / Picture: Daniel Harker

A travelling green and white army of more than 1,000 could follow Chichester City to their FA Cup second-round tie at Prenton Park.

Club bosses have reported huge interest from fans intending to make the trip to the live televised tie on the afternoon of Sunday, December 1.

In just a few days, more than 500 people registered interest on the club’s website in finding out about the travel arrangements.

That suggests City could go a long way to selling the 1,000-plus ticket allocation they will get from their League One hosts.

Following last night’s replay between their two potential opponents, Wycombe and Tranmere, won 2-1 after extra-time by Rovers, City officials were today starting the task of selling tickets.

They pledged that apart from being able to buy tickets online, some would be available for purchase at their Oaklands Park base.

The huge interest in the tie is no surprise, but demonstrates how strongly Chi’s remarkable FA Cup run has captured the imagination of people in the city and farther afield – including some who normally take little interest in football.

Chi City chairman Andy Bell said it was an exciting time for everyone connected with the club.

He said the period between now and the big game would be hectic for officials, management and players.

A further boost to City’s profile – and bank balance – came last Thursday when BT Sport announced it would screen their tie live.

That alone earns the club another £75,000 – almost doubling the £82,000 prize money they’ve made by getting through seven rounds of the cup with six victories and that famous first-round bye.

Bell said: “To have more than 500 people registering interest in travelling to the second round tie is really pleasing. It suggests we’ll have a great following.

“Having to wait for a replay has been frustrating but now we can really get on with all the arrangements. We want to give everyone who wants to go the chance to do that, and it’s great that those who can’t make the trip have the option of watching live on TV.”

Bell said the increasing amount of money being accrued could go into the bank and help give the club a secure future.

Manager Miles Rutherford’s focus is on Saturday’s league visit to Phoenix Sports, when players are effectively playing for places in the Cup team.

He said: “We’ve drawn three in a row in the league and they’re games we could have won. We can’t let our league form suffer so Phoenix is a big game for us and they are going well.

“We understand players won’t want to get injured before the Cup tie but you can’t think like that.”