Chichester City skipper Dan Hegarty says his side fear no one as the club sealed their spot in the last 16 of the FA Vase for the first time in their history.
Goals from Harry Williams and Steve Hutchings secured the 2-1 win for the Lillywhites over Combined Counties Premier side Horley Town.
Next up for Chi in the national knockout competition is a tough away trip to Cheshire to face 1874 Northwich on February 3.
While the long trip to face a supporter-owned side who have also had a good run in the FA Cup this season will not be easy, Hegarty said he had no doubts that City would be up to the challenge.
Speaking after the Horley match, Hegarty said: “Everyone at the club is absolutely buzzing. It’s a really exciting time. We don’t fear anyone. Everyone’s on a similar level to us and on the day if we’re better than them we’ll go on and win the game. We’ll see where our future goes.”
Chi struck early in front of a crowd of more than 350 at the New Defence. With just eight minutes on the clock, Williams ghosted in to tuck away a nicely delivered set-piece from Ellis Martin at the far post.
Both sides had chances to add the scoring throughout the first half but it was Horley who made the breakthrough, equalising just before the break. Chi showed their class in the second period though, withstanding pressure before Hutchings hit home after a nice piece of control.
Hegarty said: “It was a very tough game as we knew it would be. They were a decent side. But we managed to get the win in the end and we’re into the hat for the next round.
“The pitch made it difficult for both sides. There was obviously a lot on the line and both teams went for it. We had to get stuck in and put pressure on them and in the end it was all worth it because we’re in the next round.”
Chi’s excellent week continued on Tuesday when they followed up the Vase win with a 2-0 midweek victory over Horsham YMCA to progress to the semi-final of the Sussex RUR Cup.
A first-half strike from Sam Ndlouv was followed up by a Kaleem Haitham goal ten minutes from time to secure progress at the expense of a side who are third in the SCFL Premier. City will face Broadbridge Heath way in the semi-final on February 23 (7.45pm).
Next up for fifth-placed Chi is a trip to Hassocks tomorrow (3pm) in the league with the Oaklands Park side still in contention for a promotion place.