THE Hawks have expressed disappointment after Gosport Borough turned down a request to move the first leg of their FA Trophy semi-final showdown.
The two Skrill South rivals face a two-legged battle for a place at Wembley – but the first clash at Westleigh Park is on the same day Pompey host AFC Wimbledon (Saturday, February 15).
Lee Bradbury’s Hawks were keen to move the game 24 hours later to the Sunday to maximise the attendance.
Borough, however, declined because they travel to Maidenhead in the league on the following Tuesday and are concerned about the lack of recovery time.
The Hawks, meanwhile, do not have a midweek fixture.
But Bradbury offered to arrange one during discussions with Borough manager Alex Pike in his attempts to switch the game.
Hawks secretary, Trevor Brock, said: ‘In my view, we would get an extra 1,000 people coming if we played on the Sunday. That would be a conservative estimate.
‘A lot of people who go to watch Pompey would have come. We tend to lose 200 to 300 from our attendance when our home games clash just for a normal league game but this is a special game.
‘So we’re disappointed.’
With a potential attendance closer to 3,000, rather than 1,500, it could cost both clubs significantly in lost revenue.
But Pike insists his only priority is to his players ahead of a frantic run of fixtures.
He said: ‘It is no consideration of mine what the crowd is going to be at Havant. I’ve got no interest.
‘All I’m interested in is my players. To play on Sunday afternoon and then Tuesday night at Maidenhead, I didn’t think that was fair.
‘And Havant don’t have a game in midweek.’