Boro focused on Bideford tie

Dan Wooden is a doubt for the visit of Bideford
Dan Wooden is a doubt for the visit of Bideford
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Hawks boss shrugs off setback in Cornwall

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Gosport Borough are determined not to let the controversy surrounding their last-round win against Bashley ruin their FA Cup ambitions.

Alex Pike’s side host Bideford tomorrow in the second qualifying round, despite Bashley writing a letter of complaint to the FA asking for their game against Borough in the competition be played again.

That followed an incident in the second half off their replay in the New Forest when the hosts were denied an obvious goal by the match referee.

A Borough player was accused of kicking the ball through a hole in the side-netting and convincing the officials it was a corner.

Gosport do not deny the events but feel the responsibility lies with the officials and not the players.

‘We have to put all that out of our minds because it is all done and dusted,’ said assistant-manager Mick Catlin.

‘For whatever reason we are still in the Cup and it is a bit unfair to call us cheats.

‘The decision was made by the officials, not us, and at the time they were not open to any debate.

‘If the boot was on the other foot I don’t imagine the Bashley players admitting it was a goal.

‘Our focus now has to be on getting through against Bideford.’

Borough are likely to be without young striker Dan Wooden, who had to be helped off the pitch with a bad-looking injury against St Albans City in midweek.

Wooden suffered a nasty graze and impact injury to his shin and is at best only 50/50 to recover in time.

Experienced midfielder Jamie Brown also picked up a knock and Borough are monitoring his fitness.

The home side, however, are hoping to have pacy striker Stefan Gaisie back in the reckoning after a hamstring problem.

Borough lost 1-0 against St Albans, paying the price for missing a host of chances in the opening half hour.

Catlin knows his side will have to be sharper in front of goal if they want to beat Bideford at the first attempt.

‘We have beaten them at their place already this season but it was a game that could have gone either way in the early stages,’ he said.

‘Home advantage is important and we will go into the tie confident we can do the job first time.

‘If we can reproduce the level of performance that saw us win at Chesham last weekend then we have every chance.

‘Our record in the competition in recent years hasn’t been great but it is a good chance to bring some extra finance into the club.’

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Jones G, Martin, Brown, Molyneaux, Poate, King, Smith, Gaisie, Bennett, Woodward, Igoe, Ford, Cook, Norton, Wilde