Borough planning Cup Bash at Privett

Striker Justin Bennett, left, has been struggling to hit top form of Gosport Borough so far this season
Striker Justin Bennett, left, has been struggling to hit top form of Gosport Borough so far this season
Jaosn Prior. Picture: Keith Woodland

Late heartbreak for Hawks

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Gosport Borough are hoping it will be third time lucky when they take on Bashley in an FA Cup first qualifying round replay at Privett Park tonight (7.45pm).

Alex Pike’s outfit forced a replay when a last-minute goal salvaged a 1-1 draw in the first meeting in the New Forest at the weekend.

The two well-matched sides also fought out a goalless draw in the Southern League premier division at Privett Park last month.

There is little to choose between the two teams and another close, hard-fought encounter is expected tonight.

But the winners have the incentive of a home draw in the next round of the Cup against either Bideford or Bodmin Town.

‘We are not thinking any further than this replay,’ said Borough assistant manager Mick Catlin.

‘On Saturday we escaped at the death and we must look to capitalise on it.

‘In both our games against Bashley we have created lots of chances but failed to take them.

‘At the weekend some of our build-up play was the best we have produced this season.

‘We should have put the game to bed but didn’t.’

Borough could be without recently-signed striker Steffan Gaisie, who limped off in the first tie with a hamstring problem.

The loss of the pacy forward will be a blow but the home side are hoping that can be offset by a return to form by his prolific strike partner Justin Bennett.

‘It’s just not going for Justin at the moment,’ said Catlin.

‘Possibly, he’s trying too hard and just needs to relax a little.

‘All he needs is a goal from open play and he will be away again.’

Borough’s track record in the FA Cup has been poor in recent years and they are overdue a good run.

Apart from the financial gains of an extended Cup run, Catlin believes involvement in the famous old competition is good for morale.

‘We would love to get through the next few rounds and increase the exposure of our club,’ said the assistant boss, who used to play for the club.

‘But first we have to overcome Bashley.

Both teams know each other well and it will boil down to who can show a little more inventiveness.

‘Hopefully that will be us.’