Gosport hungry for taste of Trophy glory

Brett Poate is suspended for Gosport's trip to Hungerford Picture: Dave Haines
Brett Poate is suspended for Gosport's trip to Hungerford Picture: Dave Haines
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Gosport Borough are looking to put their off-the-field problems behind them as they aim to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy at Hungerford Town (3pm).

Borough have had a difficult few weeks of late, losing the roof of their clubhouse to a storm and having their financially-lucrative New Year’s Day home derby against the Hawks postponed.

On top of that, bailiffs visited Privett Park this week in a bid to carry out a county court judgement for a £14,000 debt against the club.

The situation means Borough are hungry for the prize money on offer in the Trophy.

Assistant manager Mick Catlin admits life is currently tough for the club but believes the competition can provide some welcome relief.

Apart from the £7,000 on offer for the winners tomorrow, success will also take them a step closer to a Wembley final.

Borough have already gone the furthest they have ever been in the competition, after seeing off Skrill Premier outfit Nuneaton Town on penalties in the last round.

Hungerford Town play a level below in the Southern League premier division but Catlin insists Borough will need to keep their wits about them.

‘This is a massive game for us,’ said Catlin.

‘If we can get through this tie then maybe we can start dreaming of a Wembley appearance.

‘The last couple of weeks have not been easy and the players deserve credit for not letting the events affect them.

‘When you have home games called off, it hits you financially and affects your cash flow.

‘Losing the Havant game was a blow because when we played at their place on Boxing Day they benefitted from a good gate.

‘We were hoping to do the same.

‘We are just concentrating on the football side and trying to reach the next round. The prize money picked up so far has been helpful and the amount on offer for this game is not to be sniffed at.’

Borough were at their best in the last round.

They held Nuneaton to two goalless draws before succeeding in the penalty shootout.

They will need to be on their mettle again tomorrow because Hungerford will present a stiff challenge.

The Berkshire side are very much at home on their sloping pitch and the conditions are bound to be heavy underfoot.

‘The conditions could prove to be a great leveller,’ said Catlin.

‘We have to be prepared to go there and grind out a result.

‘That means we must be far more clinical in front of goal than we have been.

‘We have been creating lots of chances but not putting them away.’

Defender Brett Poate is suspended but striker Tim Sills has recovered from a knock to his ankle.

Losing the experienced Poate is a blow but Borough have Lee Molyneaux and other options available to cover his absence.