Tranmere Rovers, will face Chichester City this Sunday (01/12/19) in the second round of this seasons FA Cup.
Who are Chichester City?
Chichester City Football Club, the ‘Lillywhites’ of the Isthmian League South East Division, travel to Merseyside this Sunday. This is the furthest round of the FA Cup that the West Sussex club have ever competed in. Thus, it’s set to be a great tie showcased on BT Sports.
The second round cup draw was made before Tranmere Rovers travelled to Adams Park, of Wycombe Wanderers, for the first round replay. Thus, Miles Rutherford and his side were unsure of where their FA Cup journey would take them next. However, when Tranmere forward Kieron Morris broke the hearts of the Adams Park faithful it became clear that Chichester would travel further than they have before for a league fixture.
To make the difference of Tranmere Rovers and Chichester City a slight more evident : Prenton Park has a capacity of more than 7 times Oakland’s Park, Four leagues separate the two sides (Five last season) and Tranmere’s history stretches more than 100 years past the opposition.
Due to Bury’s demise bringing their expulsion out of the football league, they were withdrawn from the FA Cup. This meant that one football club had the opportunity of a bye to the second round, this club was this Sunday’s visitors to Micky Mellon’s Tranmere. Seeing the funny side of their bye and the difference between the ‘super whites’ and themselves, as soon as the replay at Adams Park finished they tweeted ‘Tranmere, good luck in the third round’. This shows that no-one, even themselves, believe that they can produce a cup upset this Sunday. However, this is the basis for a perfect cup upset that the famous cup competition has brought to football fans many times before. Who expected John Aldridge’s Tranmere side to beat Walter Smith’s ‘blues’ at Goodison Park in 2001?
It is only fair to credit the effort the coaches and squad have displayed in order to ‘go’ this far. Their FA Cup run started many months before Tranmere’s, with a 7-2 away win in the Preliminary round against Bridon Ropes. Aswell as past league successes, winning the Southern Combination Premier division last season. This shows that Chichester won’t come to Prenton Park and treat it as a ‘day out’, they will travel up north in the hope of presenting themselves in a great light against a football league opposition. Maybe their efforts in the Wirral Peninsula will be rewarded with a place in the third round, this will mean that premier league opposition may be found at Oakland’s park! An added pressure for the Southern ‘Lillywhites’, a team of semi professional footballers .. imagine Harry Kane against a team of plumbers?
Micky Mellon, Tranmere manager, knows all about his lower league opposition and in a recent press conference told the Tranmere Website ‘We know it’s going to be tough. We want to do well in the FA Cup so the value of the tie is huge to us, being on TV and all that goes with that, and being at Tranmere, you have to win games. We are looking forward to the game and we know what a big challenge it will be. They don’t come from the level that we play at, but we have still done our due diligence and professionalism on them. We know what we need to know, and we know that we’ll have to play well to beat them”. The prize is massive for both clubs and we respect that. We have to go out there and perform well and we are desperate to get to the next round.
“There is a massive incentive for both. We will need to take care of the business but I’m sure Chichester are going to come up here and give it everything that they have got so we’re going to have to perform.
The ‘superwhites’ head into this cup tie after a run of mixed results, losing and beating Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe side and losing against Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town. Thus, Mellon will be hoping that this side will bring a slight progression in respect of quality shown and the start of a more positive run of results.
Mark Ellis, Evan Gumbs, Ishmael Miller, Ollie Banks and Jordan Ponticelli will miss the tie as they remained sidelined with injury. Kane Wilson will also miss the tie, through suspension, as he picked up a red card in the first round replay for a challenged that was deemed to be late. However, on a more positive note, Liam Ridehalgh and Neill Danns could both make a return following on from recent injuries.
Chicester City, who Tranmere will play for the first time in their 135 year history, are the lowest ranked team that remain in this seasons FA Cup.