Pike targets hat-trick of Wembley visits

Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike
Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike
Wes Fogden. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Gosport Borough have been handed a tricky start to their FA Trophy campaign with a visit to Southern League Cirencester Town.

In the 2013-2014 campaign, Borough surprised many by reaching the Trophy final at Wembley.

Back then they eventually lost to Cambridge United – but it remains a highlight in the club’s history.

Manager Alex Pike has been involved in two Wembley finals, with Wimborne in the FA Vase and Borough in the Trophy.

Now he would love to make it a hat-trick.

‘It would be nice to go back and do one better and win it,’ said Pike.

‘We proved two years ago that it can be done, and Bath City from our level also went close last season.

‘Someone in our league will have another good go at it this season and there is no reason why it can’t be us.

‘Cirencester have had a couple of good results in the competition already, beating Tunbridge Angels and North Leigh.

‘It isn’t an easy draw but it could have been a lot worse.

‘We have to make sure that we make the most of it but to do that we will need to improve on our league form.’

Borough are in action tonight against Cowes Sports in the Russell Cotes Cup at Privett Park (7.45pm).

Pike will use the game to get extra competitive minutes into some of his squad.

He intends to play the unused substitutes from the 1-0 win over Weston-super-Mare on Saturday and a couple of players coming back from injury.

Andy Robinson, Ben Harding and Adam Wilde could all feature.

Dave Carter intends to use Moneyfields’ Russell Cotes Cup game against Ringwood Town at Dover Road to keep some players match fit.

A number of his squad are cup-tied for Saturday’s FA Vase tie at Hallen so they will be given a run out.

Nathan Paxton, Dan Woodward and Gavin Spurway are all ineligible for the Vase trip.

Spurway will be making his first start for Moneys after coming on as a substitute in the 3-2 League Cup win over Tadley Calleva.

Tom Chapman, who was sick at the weekend, could also be in line for a recall to the team.