Gosport Borough under-18s joint managers Joe Lea and Pat Suraci take immense pride from historic FA Youth Cup run

Joint managers Pat Suraci and Joe Lea lauded their Gosport Borough under-18s battlers for the record-breaking FA Youth Cup run they embarked on this season.

By Lewis Mason
Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 10:15 pm
Gosport Borough under-18s joint manager Pat Suraci, right. Picture: Tom Phillips
Gosport Borough under-18s joint manager Pat Suraci, right. Picture: Tom Phillips

But had it not been for two fine late saves from the Cityzens' stopper Archie Walker, Gosport would have found a way back in after Jenyo Balogun's decisive 63rd-minute penalty.

Both Suraci and Lea admitted it was a defeat that will take some time to get over. But when the dust settles the joint managers will reflect with nothing but pride at what their Boro under-18s group have achieved in the FA Youth Cup.

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Lea said: ‘I think it's one of those ones, the perspective is they (Reading City) train every single day and we're with our boys for maybe three hours a week.

‘For us, to know we've got boys who've come purely from grassroots, some of those boys are still 16 years old and they've come up against a very good team.

‘Genuinely, I know every manager says this, on another day we not only draw the game and go to penalties, but we potentially win the game.

‘While it is really hard to take, when we look back in a weeks' time, we'll be so, so happy with how far we've come and what we've done with this team.

Joint manager Suraci added: ‘I think we're even prouder than we were for the last FA Youth Cup game (win over Cheltenham Saracens).

‘We've come away and lost the game, but the effort our boys put in - against a good team - the organisation they had - then we give away a penalty which is tough to take.

‘The boys couldn't have given anymore than they did, so I know I'm even more prouder than the last FA Youth Cup game. We come away disappointed but happy in the same way.’