Chichester City manager Miles Rutherford praised his team’s latest FA Vase victory – and challenged them to keep it going beyond Christmas.
In what’s been a fine season so far for City, they sit fourth in the Southern Combination premier-division and they remain in both the FA Vase and Sussex Senior Cup.
With several teams up and down the country seeing the Vase as a chance to grab a once-in-a-lifetime day out at Wembley, Rutherford is hopeful Chichester can reach the ‘national’ round.
A Vase replay victory over Canterbury City in round two last Wednesday has seen them set up a third-round date with fellow SCFL premier-division side Newhaven.
With City now just one win away from the non-regionalised last 32, Rutherford has targeted a long run in the competition.
He said: “Every club at this level sees the FA Vase as a massive competition and we are no different.
“I’ve been pleased with how we’ve performed so far this season and to reach the national stages of the Vase would be great.
“We’ve got a team from the same division as us, so we will both know what to expect from each other.
“As far as last 64 draws come in the Vase, it’s not the worst one we could have had but I’m sure it will be a close game.” City moved up a place to fourth in the premier division with an emphatic 4-1 victory at Eastbourne United on Saturday.
Having lost just once in 15 league games to date, Rutherford has been pleased with how things have gone in that competition as well.
He added: “I’d say Saturday’s victory was one of our best of the season so far.
“To go to Eastbourne United and perform how we did was really pleasing.
“It just goes to show what we are capable of but our biggest issue so far this season has been consistency.”
City failed to follow up that fine performance, though, as they were dumped out of the Peter Bentley Cup on Tuesday night by a 3-1 defeat at Langney.
For the second time this season, Rutherford saw his side bow out of a cup competition following defeat to a team from SCFL division one.
Earlier in the campaign, City’s Sussex RUR Charity Cup run came to an end at Little Common.
Although he was annoyed with the manner of the loss to Langney, Rutherford refused to be too downbeat after the exit.
He said: “It was a first defeat in 14 games and if you look at the last two games we’ve lost, they’ve come against teams from a league below us.
“We’ve had a lot of games so far this season and the biggest thing we’ve struggled with is consistency.
“Saturday was such a brilliant performance then we followed that up with this showing.
“I can’t be too hard on the players as we are doing well but when 11 players don’t turn up for a game it is frustrating.
“We’ll look to put things right with performances in the upcoming games in the league, Sussex Senior Cup, then that crucial FA Vase clash with Newhaven.”
City have been drawn away to National League South side Eastbourne Borough in round three of this year’s Sussex Senior Cup with the tie taking place on Tuesday (7.45pm).
by LEWIS MASON
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