Gosport Borough have unveiled Brett Poate as their star signing of the summer.
The former Hawks defender has agreed to join from Blue Square South side Eastleigh and is a major boost to Gosport’s bid to seal promotion from Evostik League division one south & west this season.
Left-back Poate, who can also play in midfield, was part of the Hawks team who famously played Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round in 2008.
The Portsmouth-based defender left West Leigh Park the following year to join forces again with former Hawks boss Ian Baird at Eastleigh.
And, despite being linked with a switch to Basingstoke this summer, the 27-year-old Poate has opted to drop down two divisions to sign for Alex Pike’s men.
Gosport have also brought in winger Jason Silver and goalkeeper Ryan Pryce from Salisbury City and striker Lee Chudy, as well as local players George Way, Nathan Paxton, Mark Cotton, Gavin Jones and Lee Molyneaux.
Borough extended their unbeaten pre-season schedule to three matches when they beat a tough- tackling Winchester City 2-1 at the Denplan Stadium on Monday.
But it took two special goals from Justin Bennett and James Taylor to ensure their Wessex League hosts were to be denied a share of the spoils.
Bennett had gone close several times before he finally struck gold on the hour, making the most of a chance created by Dan Wooden and Brett Poate to thunder in a shot from long distance that raced into the net.
Ten more minutes of Borough pressure eventually saw Taylor escaping his marker to jink free and slot a second from just inside the penalty area.
Several quality saves from Borough keeper Ryan Pryce and the solid defensive partnership of Molyneaux and skipper Aaron Cook kept out Winchester, although the hosts grabbed a late consolation when young striker Hayes Thomas, just off the substitutes’ bench, poked home.