Poole defender Michael Walker has launched a blistering attack on Gosport boss Alex Pike and taunted striker Justin Bennett ahead of today’s final.
Borough go to Tatnam Farm this afternoon, knowing a win over the Dolphins will give them promotion to the Southern League premier division.
But ahead of the clash, Walker has lit the blue touch paper by goading Gosport’s manager and top scorer.
Pike had insisted the FA would need to appoint a ‘strong’ referee for the contest and also described the Poole crowd as ‘hostile’.
On the back of that, Walker blasted: ‘What he says is just total rubbish sometimes.
‘He thinks he is Alex Ferguson with his little mind games but we are not fazed by them.
‘We know what he is like and we know what his team is like. His mind games don’t bother us.
‘We will just go about our business and know what we have got to do.’
Poole booked their place in the final after edging past Hungerford on Tuesday – just 24 hours after Bennett had netted his 41st goal of the season with a spectacular overhead kick to see off Sholing in the last-four.
Despite his superb form in front of goal, though, Walker insists keeping tabs on Bennett holds no fear and has also alleged the striker is on the verge of joining Blue Square Bet South side Dorchester Town.
Bennett scored when Gosport beat Poole 2-1 at Privett Park in August but drew a rare blank when the Dolphins won 3-0 on their patch in January.
Walker added: ‘He (Bennett) didn’t get a sniff against us in January. He has done well but he doesn’t worry me and I am coming to get him. I am confident he won’t get a sniff again.
‘He is signing for Dorchester, anyway. It will be his last game for Gosport so why is he going to be bothered?
‘Neither Bennett nor Steve Claridge hurt us here so, hopefully, it will be the same drill.
‘I am sure they will be up for it but I just think we will have too much for them.’
In response to Walker’s comments, Pike said: ‘He talks of mind games but it seems I’ve already got into his head!
‘And as for Justin – who is a close friend of mine – why would he sign for a struggling club like Dorchester?’