Manager Miles Rutherford says he will be hoping for the bye tonight when Chichester City bid to continue their remarkable FA Cup adventure.

City will be ball 71 in the bag tonight after they reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time since 1960 with a 2-1 win at Bowers & Pitsea.

Isthmian South East Chi are the last club standing who started in August in the extra preliminary round stage and they are now joined by big guns such as Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth as well as the rest of the League One and League Two sides.

Rutherford and captain Connor Cody will be at Maldon & Tiptree tonight when the draw is made live on BBC2 at 7.10pm by Karen Carney and Jermaine Beckford.

The demise of Bury means there will be an odd number in the draw so the club which is not drawn to play in a tie will receive an automatic bye to the second round and will also pocket the £36,000 prize money for first round winners.

Chi went ahead thanks to a 15th-minute Matt Axell penalty after Josh Clack was pulled back by Bowers skipper Martyn Stokes.

And they doubled their lead through a flukey goal when a clearance rebounded off Kaleem Haitham and beyond home keeper Callum Chafer.

The Isthmian Premier hosts’ Max Cornhill did pull a goal back but it was in the 90th minute and Chi held on to secure what is not only a famous victory, their sixth so far in the run, but also a vital payday.

Rutherford told The Argus: “These players have been unbelievable all season.

“We’ve had a little bit of luck on the way but all we can do is take each game as it comes. We’re delighted where we are for all the supporters who came, for everyone behind the scenes at the club, and the coaching staff but mainly for the players because they have done it.

“They have been outstanding this year.”

The win sparked wild celebrations on the pitch, and also a player party at Clacket Lane Services en route home, and Rutherford admits everyone must savour every moment.

He added: “As we said to the players, those games come along once in a lifetime.

“For a club like Chichester to get to the first round proper of the FA Cup is something no-one thought we’d ever do at the club.

“Three years ago the club was really on its last legs, and now we’re comfortable for a couple of years. That’s massive for the club and the people who have done that are the players and people at the club.”

And that bye could add even more stability.

Rutherford said with a laugh: “We want the bye! There is an 80-1 chance of getting it but, of course, we’d love to get a big club.

“But we would love the bye first and a big club after that.

“We’re not kidding ourselves, we’ve been a bit lucky this year and we’re just riding the luck, which you’ve always got to have to get through.”