Gosport Borough have been handed a huge incentive to win their FA Cup replay against Blue Square Bet South visitors Bath City at Privett Park tonight (7.45pm).
The two teams drew 1-1 at Twerton Park on Saturday, with the home side leaving it until the final five minutes and a controversial penalty decision to cancel out Dan Wooden’s opener.
Now the winner of tonight’s third qualifying round replay at Privett Park have been handed a realistic chance of facing Football League opposition in the first round after being drawn against Southern League Central outfit Slough Town in the next stage.
That represents a massive boost for Alex Pike’s Borough, who defeated Slough 10 days ago in the FA Trophy and knocked them out of the Cup last season.
And if Gosport see off Bath tonight, they can start to dream about facing the likes of Pompey, Coventry City or Sheffield United in the first-round proper.
Borough’s assistant-manager Mick Catlin, however, insists his side are looking no further than tonight’s game and improving their home form.
‘It is a terrific motivation for us,’ said Catlin.
‘For the moment, though, we are not looking beyond tonight’s game.
‘Our results at home in the league haven’t been great but we have put in some good performances.
‘We will need to be at our best again, though.’
Catlin added Bath possessed nothing that would fear them and was confident his side would make it through to the final qualifying round.
‘We could and should have won this tie the first time around,’ said Catlin.
‘After we went ahead, we missed a good chance to add a second which would have seen Bath dead and buried.
‘The penalty decision was one of those chest-to-arm situations and was harsh, to say the least.
‘I am confident, however, we can win through because we didn’t see anything from Bath to unduly worry us.
‘Our experienced players showed that they can help the side cope with the occasion and they gave us a strength running through the spine of the team.
‘On top of that, we also have the pace and flair with some of our younger players to hurt Bath.
‘Our mindset going into the replay will be exactly the same as the first game as we don’t feel we need to change anything.
‘We will need to play well again but, hopefully, a big crowd will turn out and get behind us.’
Borough are likely to go with the same squad that served them well at Twerton Park, with striker Stefan Gaisie still ruled out with a hamstring problem.
Gosport Borough: Ashmore, May, Woodward, Martin, Brown, Molyneaux, Poate, Igoe, Smith, Wooden, Bennett, King, Ford, Wilde, Norton, Cook, Stow.