Gosport Borough under-18s move step closer to FA Youth Cup first round proper and set up Cheltenham Saracens tie
Gosport Borough under-18s moved to within one win of the FA Youth Cup first round proper after overcoming Poole Town last night.
Striker Dylan Holgate and substitute Harvey Ward - netting just two minutes after his introduction - struck in either half as Boro's young guns wrapped up a 2-0 second qualifying round victory under the lights at Privett Park.
Gosport, joint managed by first-team players Joe Lea and Pat Suraci, have now set up a home meeting with Chelteham Saracens, who claimed an impressive win over Yeovil Town under-18's, in the next round later this month.
Should Boro's prospects come through against CYFL Gloucestershire Floodlit League side Cheltenham they have the prospect of an 'exciting' first round proper tie – potentially against a Football League academy.
But joint manager Lea stressed Boro's youngsters will not be looking past Cheltenham Saracens after their fine win to reach the third round qualifying stage.
He said: ‘To be fair, for the boys it’s a case of enjoying last night - we’ll enjoy last night today - then we’re looking at making plans for the next round.
‘We don’t know much about the Cheltenham (Saracens) team we’re coming up against so we’re going to try to get some information on them.
‘They played against Yeovil’s Academy - we weren’t looking too far ahead - but we were expecting to play Yeovil should we have won last night.
‘The Cheltenham side we’ll be coming up against are going to be a good team and that’s part of the challenge, we actually quite enjoy that challenge, part of the challenge is you actually don’t know a lot about the other teams a lot of time.
‘We’re one win away from potentially having a really, really exciting time, but we’ve got to get there first.’
Livewire Holgate beat a couple of Poole players then found the bottom corner to hand Boro the lead after 32 minutes.
The visitors then had coach Tony Lee shown a red card as tempers boiled over minutes after the opener.
Ward was introduced from the bench on 63 minutes and just two minutes later grabbed Gosport's crucial second goal.
And joint manager Lea was full of pride after seeing his youngsters come through a tough test against Poole.
He added: ‘It was really good. We’re really proud of the boys, it was a big game for them, an important game for the centre of excellence and it was a really good evening.
‘To be fair, that Poole team were a good team, they were one of the best teams we’ve faced so far this season. Physically they were strong, they were quite athletic and they were probably the closest we’ve come to facing a men’s team at this level.
‘I think it was a really good challenge for us, as a staff, we’re really proud of the boys - not only did they stand up to the challenge of the opposition - but they did it in an important game which is the case with the FA Youth Cup.’