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They're through again! Chichester City get bye to round two of the FA Cup

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Chichester City’s FA Cup fairytale was a pretty good one already. Now it’s just gone up a few levels. Incredibly they were the one of the 79 teams in the draw not to be pulled out of the hat – giving them a bye to round two.

City’s fourth qualifying round win away to Bowers and Pitsea put them in with the big boys – and there were amazing, jubilant scenes in the City clubhouse at Oaklands Park as they were the last number left in the draw, meaning they get a bye.

It’s because Bury FC have been thrown out of the Cup and the Football League as they battle to stay in existence. It means City get the £36,000 prize money and a place in round two – one game from a potential tie against a Premier League or Championship team.

As the number of teams in the draw got fewer the tension mounted, and there was an incredible roar from the assembled players, families and backroom staff when they were not the last team pulled out and given a match to play.

Players hugged each other, one or two had a tear in the eye and there were loud renditions of Sweet Caroline – just as there had been after the fourth qualifying round win over Bowers and Pitsea.

The draw was live on BBC2 at the home of Maldon and Tiptree FC – the only other step four non-league side alongside Chi City left in the competition.

City boss Miles Rutherford and keeper Steve Mowthorpe were invited to attend the draw, while plenty of others in the City camp are gathering at the Oaklands Park clubhouse to watch – with a BBC South Today reporter and cameraman and of course the Chi Observer present to see who they drew.

Chi City chairman Andy Bell said before the draw he’d quite like to land the prize money and bye into the second round, although City would make a donation to Bury FC, whose absence means the bye is necessary, if that happened.

But Bell said he could also see the advantages of landing a big Football League club – or a game against another non-league side City would have a real chance of beating.

City assistant boss Graeme Gee was among those hoping City are paired with near neighbours Pompey, at home or away.

Everyone had a theory about what would constitute a good tie for City … but no one was complaining when they didn’t get one. It means they have got through SEVEN rounds of the Cup – and no team will be able to beat that.

Bring on round two!!!

How City won at Bowers and Pitsea – match report and video highlights

Madness! Incredible! Chi receive plaudits from all round

The draw and why Chi could get a bye

Picture special from the win that has earned a first round place

Clack and Clacket – Winger’s video from the service station goes viral

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Crawley Town

Crawley Town v Port Vale: Reds hunt for first league win since October

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John Yems will take charge of his first home game as Crawley Town head coach this Saturday as the Reds entertain Port Vale.

Yems’ first game in charge ended in a 0-0 draw with Stevenage, in a game that Crawley would’ve felt they had the better chances to win the game.

Bez Lubala had the best chance to win it for Crawley as he raced in one on one, took it round the keeper only to lose his footing as he faced the open goal.

Ashley Nadesan also had a good chance to win it for Crawley in the first half as he raced in one on one but his left footed shot was a tame effort, which was comfortable for Stevenage keeper Paul Farman.

This week Crawley will look to go one better and pick up a victory at the People’s Pension Stadium but know they’ll be in for a tough task against a Port Vale side who sit tenth in League Two and just a few points off the play-offs.

Vale have been much improved this season following a poor campaign for them last season. However, so far this season it has been the away form which has let Port Vale down, as they’ve picked up just nine points on the road out of a possible 30 so far this season.

Compared to their 19 points out of a possible 30 on home soil it’s a very poor record for Vale and one they’ll be looking to change if they are to have a chance of claiming a play-off position this season.

READ MORE ‘I am devastated to be leaving my role as Operations Director at the club’ – Kelly Derham leaves Crawley Town | Former Crawley Town owner will not offer ‘financial support’ after Derham dismissal | Crawley Town Supporters’ Alliance’s statement after meeting with vice chairman
Despite their poor form on the road their only two wins away from home this season have come against teams in the play-off places, in the form of Crewe Alexandra and Bradford City. This shows that Port Vale are a good side and Crawley will have to be back to their best in order to pick up a much needed three points.

Crawley need to return back to winning ways, as they haven’t picked up a victory in the league since the 2-1 win over Colchester United back on October 12.

That’s over two months since Crawley tasted league victory in what’s been an extremely poor run for the side.

However, last week their were some promising signs out of John Yems first game, despite him only having two days to work with the squad before matchday.

Crawley can only build on and improve from their performance last week and look to end 2019 picking up some more points and beginning to climb the table again.

Yems has said the whole squad will be used over this Christmas period, which produces lots of games for Crawley, so their could be a few changes to the line-up as Yems looks to establish his strongest starting eleven.

Crawley will be looking to grab a much needed victory to boost the squads morale and give the players and fans a much needed confidence boost heading into this busy fixture period.

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Crawley Town

Crawley Town ‘confident’ Port Vale game will go ahead as normal following speculation

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Crawley Town are confident there game against Port Vale on Saturday go ahead despite speculation there is ‘chaos’ at the club, according to a source.

The club this week terminated the contract of operations director Kelly Derham and the news has caused unrest amongst the fans and reportedly the staff.

The Straight Red CTFC podcast tweeted today: “ Inside source: “Chaos” at Crawley, Staff threaten walkout, No stadium safety approval, Match could be played behind closed doors Saturday. What. Is. Happening ”

But when when we approached the club for a comment, a source told us that that there would a safety check in the morning, which is normal procedure and they are ‘confident it will be fine’.

The source at the club also told the Crawley Observer: “There was no staff walkout at all. As all staff members are in jobs and will be for foreseeable future. The safety group will meet in the morning for the game.”

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Horsham to celebrate amazing year with fun-filled family day

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Horsham will be marking the festive season, and celebrating an incredible year with a ‘Christmas Bonanza’ at The Camping World Community Stadium this Saturday.

2019 has been a remarkable year for the Hornets having earned promotion into the Isthmian Premier for the first time in seven years with a 2-1 play-off final win over Ashford United.

They have also moved into their own ground for the first time since 2008 and are enjoying life in the Premier, currently sitting in third.

Kicking off proceedings at 1.45pm, the club are hosting a children’s party in which all youngsters will receive a gift from Howie the Hornet, generously provided by Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have the opportunity to create Christmas tree decorations and have a dance at the junior disco.

The main event takes place at 3pm when the Hornets face East Thurrock United as they look to return to winning ways. Supporters are invited to stay behind in the clubhouse for food, music, and to watch Southampton v West Ham United on the big screen.

READ MORE Depleted Horsham ‘did brilliantly’ in top-of-the-table clash at Folkestone Invicta | Loxwood and Broadbridge Heath share spoils after moving tribute | Horsham YMCA ‘learn their lesson’ in winning return over Alfold

The new social membership cards, which supporters can use for discounts at the bar and club shop, and for function room bookings, will be in use from Saturday’s game onwards.

Full season and half-season ticket holders can get theirs for free. Find out how to apply on horshamfc.co.uk.

The club are also welcoming non-perishable food donations as part of it’s appeal in aid of The Trussell Trust – a nationwide network of more than 1,200 food banks that provide emergency food and support to people in poverty.

If you can help with a donation, please come along on Saturday and pass your items to members of Horsham’s Youth squads who will be collating the collection.

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