Chichester City’s fairy tale in the FA Cup took another step this week with the Oaklands Park club finally discovering who they will play in the competition in their second-round tie. Their opponents will be Tranmere Rovers after the Super Whites inflicted a 2-1 AET win over Wycombe Rovers at Adams Park to secure their place in the next round.
The match between Micky Mellon’s League One side and the green and whites coached by Miles Rutherford will be televised and earn the West Sussex minnows a fee of around £75,000 alone from the broadcasting rights. The money, and that won for each round City have progressed in so far, will mean the future of the club is secured after a rather unstable few years under a previous regime.
City went into the draw via a bye after Bury were forced to withdraw from the competition, and the league campaign, after severe financial difficulties meant they were unable to continue as a business and fulfil their fixtures. It is hoped they will rise once more like a phoenix from the flames and take their place in the football pyramid.
The bye meant City were through to the second round and awaited news of their opponents after the two teams drew the original tie at Prenton Park and a replay took place. Now the suspense is over and plans for the long trip to the Wirral can take place with kick off at 3pm on December 1.
Martin Burford is the club’s main sponsor and he attended the Wanderers-Rovers replay to run the rule over the prospective opponents — and City coach Darin Kilpartrick was at the game to conduct a scouting mission so he can prepare the players for what they will have in store.
Burford, whose business CSL Ltd is emblazoned on the front of the club’s shirt, said the magic of the cup was the most important thing about the forthcoming game which is being hailed very much as a David versus Goliath affair.
“We know that in all probability it is a game which we can’t win but that said, we travel in hope of pulling off a cup upset — why would we do anything else. But for club it is all about enjoying the amazing journey, the experience on the day at such a prestigious club as Tranmere and, of course, extra publicity and awareness of Chichester and its football team as well as the very valuable boost to the club’s coffers.
“The boys have done ever so well thus far to reach the stage that they are at and so the best thing we can do now is to go, enjoy the day and keep our fingers crossed that we have a good one on the pitch!”