Sam Pearce insists there will be some territorial rivalry as Gosport Borough attempt to sign off their season with some silverware tonight.
The Conference South outfit take on Southampton-based Sholing in the Hampshire Senior Cup final at Fratton Park (7.45pm), with Borough desperate to pick up the trophy that they haven’t won since 1988.
Sholing wear red and white stripes so it’s a bit of extra motivation for the Pompey boys!Gosport Borough skipper Sam Pearce
And while Gosport lifted the county crown with victory over Farnborough 27 years ago at The Dell – the former home of Southampton – the Borough skipper believes his team will thrive on the fact this clash is just across the harbour.
Pearce said: ‘Sholing wear red and white stripes so it’s a bit of extra motivation for the Pompey boys!
‘It’s great to be playing at Fratton Park and we are all looking forward to the occasion.
‘It’s funny because we have a few lads from Southampton here in our squad.
‘We have a lot of banter about it but I’m definitely on the blue side and at training it’s always PO postcode v SO postcode.
‘But there is a good friendly rivalry and it helps make the team strong, I think.’
Both Mike Carter and Lee Wort joined Borough from Southern League division one south and west Sholing – who were last season’s Wessex League premier division champions – in the summer and will be playing against their former team-mates.
Pearce, who believes the game will provide an added incentive for the duo, is keen to write another chapter in the club’s history books.
‘I’m sure there will be a bit extra for Carter and Wort playing against their old team,’ said Pearce.
‘There always is when you play against your old club.
‘But it’s a cup final and everyone wants to win trophies.
‘Someone told me it has been 27 years since we have been in the final and we want to win it now.
‘We keep writing history at this club.
‘We got to the FA Cup first round, we’ve had the highest finish in the club’s history and hopefully we can keep the momentum going to push on next season.’
Borough last played a competitive game more than a week ago after they beat champions Bromley 2-1, although they have since faced Salisbury in a friendly.
And Pearce admitted it has been a tricky spell between the fixtures.
He said: ‘It’s difficult to have 10 days between the games.
‘There are some tired bodies after a long season and it’s hard to have a break and then get yourself going again.
‘But we’ve had a bit of a rest and we are ready for it.’
The centre-back has become a key part of the Borough side since joining from the Hawks and shrugged off recent uncertainty over boss Alex Pike’s future.
Pearce added: ‘Every time a job comes up, he will be linked with it because he has been successful here.
‘He’s a Gosport boy, I’ve got a very good relationship with him and I’m sure we would have known if he wanted to leave.
‘I’ve got every confidence he will be here next season.
‘But it will be good to finish the season with a trophy for him.’
GOSPORT BOROUGH: Ashmore, Forbes, Pearce, Poate, Williams, Robinson, Carter, Dunford, Smith, Wooden, Ramsey, Wilde, Bennett, Paterson, Wort, Saez, Benham