JUSTIN BENNETT added four more goals to his tally as Gosport Borough cruised into the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.
Borough proved far too powerful for Southern League premier division visitors Bideford as they stormed to a 7-0 win at Privett Park.
The game was all over as a contest by half-time after Borough stormed into a four-goal lead.
The visitors didn’t help their cause when they were reduced to 10 men soon after the break and Borough took full advantage.
‘We did a professional job in what could have been a potential banana skin,’ said assistant boss Mick Catlin.
‘It came at the end of a difficult week for us.
‘After losing in the league to Margate and in the Hampshire Senior Cup to AFC Portchester, things could easily have gone badly.
‘Therefore it was pleasing the way the players went about the game.
‘They approached it in the right manner and it showed.
‘We proved that we are a good Conference South side and a level above our opponents.
‘To be fair we dominated every area in the game and didn’t give our opponents anything at all.’
It took Bennett just 11 minutes to set the ball rolling for Borough, firing past goalkeeper Kyle Moore. Within two minutes Tom Dunford extended Borough’s lead, chipping the ball over the advancing goalkeeper and into the empty net.
Though Bideford looked to raise their game, Bennett pinned them back in the 21st minute with his second goal – cutting in from the right-wing before hammering his shot home.
Dunford then grabbed his second two minutes before the break, following good work from Mike Carter.
Soon after the interval, Bideford had Nick Milton sent off for a second bookable offence when he brought Bennett down just outside the box.
Bennett completed his hat-trick – his third of the season – on 78 minutes, and three minutes from full-time notched his fourth.
‘When you give Justin Bennett the amount of room Bideford did then he is going to punish you,’ said Catlin.
‘He did what he does best and that is be in the right place at the right time.
‘That is why he is the leading goalscorer in our league.’
Substitute Steve Ramsey also scored a goal sandwiched between the last two Bennett efforts.
Borough reached the first round proper in the competition last season and Catlin would love to repeat that feat.
‘Last season’s run to the first round where we met Colchester United was great,’ said Catlin.
‘Everybody wants a good FA Cup run because it heightens the profile of the club and the players.
‘Financially it can also be very important and bring in some welcome added finance.
‘It would be nice to get another home draw against a lower-ranked team.
‘I don’t think either us or the Hawks want to be drawn against each other at this stage.’