The Isthmian League have introduced a group stage to the competition for the first time which pits City against Sussex rivals Burgess Hill Town, Three Bridges, Haywards Heath and East Grinstead Town as well as the U’s in Group 4.
Chris Agutter’s side have started the season well, unbeaten in their four league games without conceding a goal. Victories over Faversham Town (2-0) and Whyteleafe (1-0) and goalless draws with Cray Valley PM and East Grinstead Town have them one point and one position behind Chichester in fourth place.
Remarkably former Worthing forward Ben Pope has scored all his side’s goals this season, not only in the Isthmian League but his double also saw United past Broadbridge Heath in the FA Cup.
A lot of clubs have traditionally used this competition as an opportunity to rotate however City boss Miles Rutherford may not have a choice as he faces being without up to seven first teamers.
Corey Heath misses out through suspension after seeing red at Burgess Hill, while Ryan Peake still isn’t cleared to play following his head injury on the opening day.
Recent absentees Josh Clack, Callum Overton and Jamie Horncastle are all unlikely to be fit to return, while Scott Jones and skipper Connor Cody picked up knocks in the win over Faversham and may not be risked ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup tie with Chalfont St Peter.
Kick-off at Oaklands Park is 7:45pm with admission prices £8 for adults, £4 for concessions, £1 for Students/16-18-years-olds, while under-16’s go free.
The programme is available to download here.