Exciting times for Cup heroes Gosport

Gosport make progress in the Cup
Gosport make progress in the Cup
AFC Portchester cruised to victory. Picture: Neil Marshall

Frustration for Fareham... Royals cruise through

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Gosport were delighted to get past their first FA Cup hurdle for the first time in four years.

Goals from Brett Poate and Luke King were enough to see off visitors Bideford and earn them £4,500 prize money and – a place in today’s draw for the third qualifying round, which is just two away from the first round proper.

Borough were virtually home and dry by the interval as the Devon visitors – runaway winners of the Southern League south and west last season – hardly put together a decent move in the entire 90 minutes.

Borough assistant manager Mick Catlin said: ‘After three disappointing seasons of going out at the first hurdle, it’s very pleasing to be where we are having beaten Bashley in a replay and now Bideford.

‘For me there was only one team in it and that was us. It takes the club forward into the draw, which is very exciting.

‘Both the goals were special and a result of good team movements which shows we are positive in what we do.

‘It doesn’t really matter who we draw.

‘Whoever it is, we will give it everything and hope it’s enough to take us even further in the competition.’ The only time Bideford looked likely to score was on 35 minutes, but even then striker Steve Orchard was denied what would have been an equaliser by the agility of Borough keeper Nathan Ashmore, who defied gravity with a flying save to turn the ball aside.

Ashmore became Borough’s hero of the opening 45 minutes as when play broke to the other end, Justin Bennett twisted and turned past his marker along the line before crossing into the path of King, who made no mistake from 10 yards to double the advantage.

While King’s goal was special, it was eclipsed – just – by Poate’s strike on 25 minutes, when the defender let fly a missile of a shot from long distance that crashed into the back of the Bideford net off the inside of an upright.

The only real disappointment was the number of times well-worked moves didn’t get the finish they deserved.

Sammy Igoe, Dan Wooden and Bennett all squandered chances.

With more clinical finishing, Borough could have hit five.