Catlin warns about complacency

Mick Caltin led Gosport Borough out at Wembley last season
Mick Caltin led Gosport Borough out at Wembley last season
Matt Tubbs played well against Sutton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Gosport Borough assistant manager Mick Catlin fulfiled a childhood dream when he led Gosport Borough out at Wembley in last season’s FA Trophy final.

Manager Alex Pike, who won an FA Vase Wembley final with Wimborne Town in 1992, stepped aside to give Cattlin the honour.

Now the pair are plotting another assault on the London citadel as they begin their latest Trophy campaign in the more humble surroundings of Peacehaven & Telscombe (3pm).

‘It was the stuff of dreams last season,’ said Catlin.

‘Borough getting to the final was against all the odds and we surprised a lot of people.

‘Although we ended up losing 4-0 to Cambridge United on the big day, that has to be put into perspective.

‘They went on to win the Conference Premier play-offs to get promoted back into the Football League.

‘So getting to the final itself was winning for us.

‘Having done it once we are determined to give it another good go.

‘It is never that easy in cup competitions, though, because there is a little bit of luck needed with the draw and on the day.

‘We were the giant-killers in a number of rounds last season and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen to us first game up.’

Borough go into the tie against their Ryman Premier hosts in fine fettle.

They are unbeaten away from home this season and their 3-0 midweek league win at Ebbsfleet took them up to third place in the Vanarama Conference South table.

A splendid second-half performance saw them blow the Kent side away.

The biggest danger to Borough in Sussex tomorrow could be complacency but Catlin insists that won’t be a problem.

‘We know from experience that knockout games are totally different to the league,’ he said.

‘Our team thrives on hard work and team spirit and these are good qualities to have in any cup.

‘We have also shown we can adapt to deal with different styles.

‘So far we have coped with opponents who want to play football and those who play a more physical game.

‘Our away record is second to none but there won’t be any complacency.

‘We will be drumming that into the players and are determined not to fall into that trap.

‘If we go there thinking the job is already done then we will come unstuck.

‘We are expecting nothing less than a tough encounter because Peacehaven will fancy their chances on their home pitch.’

The home side can call on a number of players who have experience of a higher level.

Up front they possess the threat of ex-Whitehawk striker Joe Gatting, who has returned to football following his first cricket season at Hampshire.

And they have recently acquired the services of Tommy Fraser, who has played at Port Vale and Whitehawk.

Borough are boosted by the return of influential midfielder Danny Smith to their squad.

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Williams, Forbes, Poate, Pearce, Carter, Ramsey, Smith, Wooden, Dunford, Bennett, Wort, Saez, Wilde, Shaw