Chichester City reflected on their latest FA Cup glory and said: Bring on Enfield.
The famous non-league side from north London are next in City’s sights after step three side Hartley Wintney were beaten in a second qualifying round replay under the Oaklands Park floodlights.
Jamie Horncastle’s 50th minute goal was the only difference between the sides as battling, resilient Chi City kept a second cleanr sheet in four days against their higher-division Southern League opposition.
Now they’re hoping for a crowd of at least 500 to see them take on Isthmian premier side Enfield on Saturday week – knowing a win in that one would leave them just one game from the first round proper and a potential tie against Pompey or another big fish from League One or League Two.
City coach Danny Potter said: “We felt we deserved to go through. We kept two clean sheets against a step three side and that says a lot about the quality and character of our squad. We had the better of the first half, got in front and although Hartley had the better of the second half we did all the right things and defended so well.
“We were without three first-choice strikers but found a goal and got through. We can’t wait to play Enfield. We’re the underdogs and happy to be so - it seems to suit us. We hope everyone in the area will come and support us on what could be a great day for the club.”
Potter praised the work of club stalwarts Andy Bell and Malcolm Harwood for getting the pitch prepared and the match on after heavy rain and said their efforts were typical of how everyone at Oaklands Park was pulling together to make a success so far of City’s first season at step four of the non-league pyramid.
Another historic day in a period that seems to be full of them arrives for City this Saturday, when they make their first appearance in the FA Trophy.
Their visitors for the extra preliminary round tie at Three Bridges, who won 1-0 at Oaklands Park last week in an Isthmian south east game.
City were without key names including forwards Callum Overton, Scott Jones and and Jimmy Wild and midfielder Emmett Dunn for the cup replay but hope to have at least a couple of them back to face Three Bridges.