Bennett upstages Claridge this time

1/10/11  sport''Gosport Borough V Taunton Town, Privett Park action. Pictured is Gosport's Justin Bennett''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (113483-2)
1/10/11 sport''Gosport Borough V Taunton Town, Privett Park action. Pictured is Gosport's Justin Bennett''Picture: Paul Jacobs (113483-2)
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JUSTIN BENNETT upstaged veteran strike-partner Steve Claridge with two goals in Gosport Borough’s 4-0 home win over Godalming Town in the FA Trophy.

Claridge, who scored the winner in the previous round against Sholing, was on the mark again, but it was Bennett who took centre stage.

And victory earned Borough £3,000 prize money as they marched on in the competition.

Alex Pike’s men had the contest virtually wrapped up before the interval.

Claridge met a Nathan Kirby cross to open the scoring, and Bennett added two stunning individual strikes that would grace Wembley Stadium in the final.

And on this showing, Borough look good enough to prove a real threat to any side in the competition, including the Blue Square Bet South teams who enter in the next round.

Surprisingly, Godalming, previously The News’ featured team in our FA Cup Road to Wembley column as they embarked on a fine Cup run, were never a threat to Borough.

Defensively, Borough always had the measure of Godalming’s strike force, with skipper Aaron Cook and Lee Molyneaux in fine form.

And there was plenty more to come from the impressive Claridge in the second half.

Having run the channels with the energy of a man half his age, the 45-year-old finished off Godalming’s lingering hopes of clawing a way back into the match by setting up Adam Wilde to thunder home goal number four from close range.

‘That performance showed just what we are capable of,’ said Borough secretary Brian Cosgrave.

‘The result was never in doubt once we had shown what we are all about as a team.

‘We have talented individuals but they play for the interests of the rest of the team, not for themselves, and they deserve the credit they get.

‘The four goals were the creation of fine moves in the first place, and that in itself is a tribute to the efforts of our coaching staff on the training ground.’

n Gosport Borough clash with local rivals Fareham Town at Privett Park in the Russel-Cotes Cup tonight (kick off 7.45pm).