Hawks beat Borough in cup semi-final
The Hawks booked their place in the Portsmouth Senior Cup final with a 2-0 victory over Gosport Borough at Westleigh Park last night.
The hosts took the lead when Ryan Woodford netted an own goal against his former club.
And the Hawks made certain of victory over their National League South rivals when Jake Thomson doubled the advantage.
Manager Lee Bradbury, who ended the game with eight academy players on the pitch, said: ‘I was really pleased with all the players – youngsters and seniors alike.
‘It was an opportunity for a number of our young lads to play in a decent game in front of a decent crowd.
‘There were some really impressive performances out there because a lot of them have never been in such a pressure situation before.
‘We have got a good few decent youngsters coming through.
‘It will be great for them, along with some of the professionals, to play in the cup final at Fratton Park.’
Borough started the stronger with Mike Carter’s clever 30-yard lob seeing Hawks keeper Charlie Searle backpedalling quickly to keep it out.
However, it was the hosts who took the lead in the most unfortunate of circumstances for Woodford.
Alfie Whittingham crossed from the right and the ex-Hawks defender chested the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the net.
On 22 minutes, Justin Bennett threatened when he beat Searle to a cross but the loose ball was cleared away.
The Hawks extended their lead on 32 minutes following a well-worked move down the right.
Harry Medway was found in space and his cross was turned into the roof of the net from two yards by Thomson.
With their two-goal cushion, the hosts continued to dictate affairs until the break.
A slip by Brian Dutton on halfway allowed Borough to break at the start of the second half.
TJ Cuthbertson burst forward but hammered his shot narrowly over the top from the edge of the area.
The home side should have added a third goal when Liam Kimber missed with a point-blank header from a pin- point Thomson cross.
Borough were showing few signs of getting back into the tie as the Hawks confidently defended their lead.
And Elliott Mitchell almost burst his way through the heart of the visitors’ defence with a terrific run.
The Hawks finished the game with eight academy players on the field and ran out deserved winners.
They will meet the winners of the other semi-final between Baffins Milton Rovers and Moneyfields in the final at Fratton Park at the end next month.
HAWKS: Searle, Haran, Medway, Whittingham, Molyneaux, Dutton, Thomson, Ridge, Penfold, Kimber, Mitchell. Subs: McCrossan, Ashton, Knight, Cooling, Winterburn
Gosport Borough: Watch, Bush, Pointon, Carter, Brice, Woodford, Cuthbertson, Ryan, Jerrard, Bennett, May. Subs: Walters, Liss, Pearce, Duffin