City, who made national headlines with their run to the second round in 2019, came from behind to win their first qualifying round tie at Northwood on Saturday.
That’s set up an Oaklands Park tie with National League South side Maidstone next and coach Danny Potter says there’s no doubt the famous competition is helping lift the early part of the season for the club.
In between their two Cup wins, over Winchester City and Northwood, came a 4-0 thumping of Lancing which gave Chi their first league win. It’s momentum they hope to keep going with a visit to Ramsgate on Saturday and a home Sussex derby against Whitehawk next Tuesday.
Potter said they were growing into the season but still had a long way to go.
“We had a stop-start pre-season, as did a lot of clubs, and we have suffered quite badly with a high number of players being injured or unavailable in different games,” he said.
“We’re still nowhere near we want to be but we are going in the right direction.
“We’re now getting a stronger squad available and as results come that will mean some players having to be patient.”
Potter picked out new goalkeeper Kieran Magee – signed from Horndean – and Romanian forward Gicu Iordache for praise following recent performances.
Magee is filling the gap left by Steve Mowthorpe, who joined AFC Portchester, and Iordache, who missed almost all of pre-season, has provided a real spark to the team’s attacking play since returning.
Potter and the management team were delighted by the battling win at Northwood. He said: “We went 1-0 down quite early. We got back into it, however, a set-piece, lack of concentration and poor marking let us down before half-time.
“When we restarted I think we looked dangerous and created early chances. We deserved our second equaliser but rode our luck a bit.
“In the latter stages of the game I thought there was only going to be one winner. What a great header from Lewis Hyde, who’d only just come on, to win it. We’re pleased we didn’t have a replay on Tuesday and can now concentrate on getting back to the Isthmian league.”