Christian Bennett's stunner books Gosport Borough under-18s' spot in FA Youth Cup first round proper to create club history with Cheltenham Saracens victory

Gosport Borough under-18s booked their spot in the FA Youth Cup first round proper for the first time in the club's history.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 9:37 pm
Christian Bennett struck his seventh goal in this season's FA Youth Cup. Picture: Tom Phillips

Christian Bennett's early stunner proved the difference as Boro' s young guns secured a 1-0 third round qualifying win over Cheltenham Saracens at Privett Park.

Winger Bennett's strike was his seventh in the competition this season as Gosport inflicted a first defeat of the campaign on Saracens.

Boro now await tomorrow's first round proper draw with a potential tie against Pompey or another Football League academy ahead for them.

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Boro could not have asked for a better start with Bennett's stunner from just outside the area firing the hosts ahead after eight minutes.

Gosport were looking a threat on the counter-attack and Dylan Holgate fired straight at Jon Dix after being played in behind Ben Wilding on 23 minutes.

Cheltenham's most promising moment arrived less than a minute later. Boro goalkeeper Ryan Rochester could only clear a cross as far as Toby Soule, who somehow blasted over with the goal at his mercy from just inside the area.

Gosport were continuing to chase a crucial second as Bennett fired a free-kick from 20 yards just wide and Finlay Walsh-Smith headed over from a corner just after the half-hour mark.

Boro made a bright start and saw their appeals for a penalty soon after the restart waved away when Holgate went down in the area.

Goalkeeper Rochester then had to get down to keep out Onakaia's effort from distance 10 minutes after the break, with the winger a constant livewire.

Gosport kept driving forward until the end and Bennett’s drive was parried away by Dix five minutes from time. And the hosts remained resolute right until the end to create a slice of club history.

Gosport under-18s: Rochester; Mann, Yoxall, Walsh-Smith, Palethorpe, Heath, Ayre, Bennett, Ward, Wilding, Holgate. Subs: Rolls (Ward, 60), Stream (Mann, 71), Ferreira (Wilding, 77), Davies, Sturgess, Walters.