City crashed to a 3-0 home defeat to VCD in their Isthmian south opener on a day soured by a fracas involving players and fans after the final whistle.
But City have done well in the FA Cup in recent times and it was the famous old competition that saw them kick-start their 2021-22 campaign when they won 3-1 away to Winchester City in the preliminary round on Saturday, thanks to goals by Scott Jones, Ethan Prichard and Gicu Iordache.
It sets up a visit to Northwood of the Isthmian south central division in the first qualifying round on Saturday week – though there are league games to come before then at Faversham on Saturday and at home to Lancing on Tuesday.
City coach Danny Potter said the win at Winchester was timely.
“Last week was very disappointing for us,” he said.
“We want to get our heads back on now to what we need to do moving forward. Being in the cup draw on Monday was a lovely thing for the club, but we know we’ve got two tough league games coming up.”
Potter saw much to please him at Winchester and hopes his players use the win as a platform to get going in the league.
“We caught Winchester stone cold at the start of the game with a great set-play. Scott Jones is dangerous in the box and he put his header away well,” he said.
“Going 1-0 up in so early was good for us. Momentum went our way and the second goal is how we want to play in the final third and it was a lovely finish by Ethan Prichard, who fully deserved his goal. He was the youngest player on the pitch for us and he’s really starting to show what he can do.
“We knew we were then going to have to soak up a lot of pressure ... we knew they’d come out dangerous in the second half as well but I thought we defended incredibly well. Credit to Kieran Magee who stepped into goal for us – he was outstanding.
“Full credit to the back line who defended with their hearts and their heads. Winchester got back into it after a mistake by us in the box and the momentum was on their side, but we’ve got one very special player in Gicu and he came up with the goods to put us 3-1 up and that put the game out of sight.”