Lee Bradbury said his Hawks gifted Gosport Borough a 2-0 victory in their Hampshire Senior Cup clash at Privett Park last night.
Two defensive errors from the visitors were capitalised upon by substitute Justin Bennett and Lee Wort late in the game as Alex Pike’s side marched into the quarter-finals of the competition.
For Pike, the win – Borough’s 15th in all competitions this season – was just reward for the way they approached the game.
Bradbury, however, felt his side missed a good opportunity to progress to the last eight.
‘We paid the price for two horrific mistakes,’ said Bradbury.
‘I was pleased with the way we played up to their first goal – and both their goals were gifts from us.
‘But apart from the two goals they never really hurt us.
‘I don’t like losing any game and last night is no different. It sickens me to lose a local derby.
‘But the priority has always been the two league meetings over Christmas.
‘Come that time we want to be picking up the league points.’
From the opening whistle, the home side showed a greater attacking intent as they dominated proceedings.
Ex-Hawks defender Brett Poate went close with a header that flashed over keeper Charlie Searle’s crossbar.
Then another Westleigh Park old-boy, Steve Ramsey, went even closer on 18 minutes when he hooked a shot against the inside of the post.
In a rare Hawks attack, Ryan Woodford saw his drive bounce out off the legs of goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore.
But it was Pike’s side who had the last attempt on goal before half-time, with Searle having to be alert to deny Paco Saez.
Borough made a change up front at the break, with Bennett replacing Matt Paterson.
Hawks striker Alan Connell, still looking for his first goal since his summer arrival, should have put the visitors ahead when he scuffed his shot straight at Ashmore.
And Tempers flared following a Mike Carter challenge on Harry Medway, resulting in a greater edge to the contest.
Wort had a great chance when he raced clear of the Hawks defence, but the striker fired his shot straight at Searle.
Defences remained on top until an unfortunate mistake from Pedro Monteiro gifted Borough the lead.
The defender’s back-pass was woefully short and Bennett nipped in to round Searle and roll the ball into the open net.
Another horrible mistake in the visitors defence saw Lee Wort secure the Borough win in stoppage-time.
‘It was always going to be a close-fought game but we punished their two mistakes with some clinical finishing,’ admitted Pike.
‘I felt the way we played in the first half we should have gone into the break with a lead.
‘We hit the post and missed a clear one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
‘In the second half I was starting to wonder if we would score then, all of a sudden, Justin Bennett took advantage of their mistake.’
Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Williams, Carter, Poate, Pearce, Saez, Ramsey, Paterson, Wort, Wilde. Subs: Bennett, Dunford, Wooden, Shaw
Hawks: Searle Woodford, Medway, Wedlake, Monteiro, Harris, Ciardini, Ryan, Mullings, Connell, Przespolewski. Subs: Blanchett, Bubb, Donnelly, Strugnell, Swallow