Borough boss lashes out at Sunday switch

Gosport boss Alex Pike
Gosport boss Alex Pike
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Alex Pike believes his side’s FA Cup clash at Slough Town should have been switched to Privett Park.

The Gosport Borough boss is preparing his troops to visit the Southern League central division side on Sunday (3pm).

The fourth qualifying round clash was moved from tomorrow afternoon because Slough share Beaconsfield’s ground – and the latter have first call on the facilities.

With the first-round draw to be made at 1.30pm on Sunday, Borough will know who they could face before kick-off at Holloways Park.

And boss Pike reckons that could cause major problems.

‘What if we’re drawn with a Football League side – heaven forbid Portsmouth,’ he said.

‘That will add tremendous pressure. I think it is wrong that a league game takes precedence and that we have to play on the Sunday.

‘In this case, Slough should have been forced to play the game at Privett Park.

‘We have invested over £300,000 into our ground in recent years and are being penalised because another club is sharing a ground.’

It is only a few weeks since Gosport netted a 4-0 FA Trophy win at Holloways Park.

And the Southern League premier division outfit will start as firm favourites once again.

But that only serves to make Pike extra cautious – and he doesn’t expect it to be so easy second time around.

He has the job of keeping his players’ feet on the ground and not allowing them to think the game is already won.

Pike said: ‘Beating them 4-0 three weeks ago won’t guarantee us a win because we all know football isn’t like that.

‘That result only makes it tougher, mentally, for us.

‘Our form in the cups this season though has been exemplary and we must look to keep it that way.

‘We have worked hard in the week at training and getting the lads organised.

‘And we will get together the day before.

‘Playing on the Sunday gives us extra time to work on set-pieces and keep the players focused.’

A boost of the Sunday kick-off is the availability of James Ford and Justin Bennett.

The pair will fly back from a stag weekend in Dublin on the morning of the game.

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, May, Woodward, Stow, Cook, Molyneaux, Poate, Martin, Wilde, Wooden, Smith D, Brown, Kirby, Gaize, Bennett, Ford, Norton