Gosport Borough drew ‘first blood’ in the opening game of their three-match battle with rivals Hawks over the coming weeks.
The Vanarama Conference South sides square up on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day in the league as they bid to boost their respective challenges for promotion to the Conference Premier.
But before their much-anticipated match-ups over the festive period, both had a last-16 Hampshire Senior Cup clash to contend with.
And it was Alex Pike’s in-form Borough who fired the early warning shots last night, as they ran out 2-0 winners at Privett Park.
Late goals from substitute Justin Bennett and Lee Wort booked Borough’s passage into the last eight of the county competition.
However, Gosport boss Alex Pike warned his side’s latest victory over their neighbours won’t make the holiday double-header any easier for his highly-confident troops.
‘It is first blood to us but this game will have no bearing on the two league games over Christmas,’ said Pike, whose outfit knocked the Hawks out of the FA Trophy at the semi-final stage last season.
‘Both teams have a lot of football to play between now and then, but it will be good if we are both still pushing for a top-five spot.
‘It is nice that both clubs are going so well and it should create a lot of interest over Christmas.’
n See page 45 for full match report