Gutted Woodford to miss Trophy rematch

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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Hawks captain Ryan Woodford has been left counting the cost of the heavy rain which forced the postponement of the club’s FA Trophy tie at Braintree Town.

The game has been rearranged for tomorrow night but Woodford will miss out as he starts a two-match suspension.

It is a major disappointment for the young central defender who was looking forward to doing battle against Blue Square Bet Premier strikers.

The suspension is a result of Woodford’s last-minute dismissal against Dorchester Town for a second bookable offence and that in itself was a frustrating affair.

‘In the whole of the game I only made two fouls and got booked for both of them,’ said the defender.

‘In the last minute all I was looking for from the referee was a bit of common sense.

‘These are the big games you want to play in and to miss out is gutting.

‘It is unfortunate but in these circumstances you just have to get on with it.’

Despite the optimism of Hawks secretary Trevor Brock, an early-morning inspection revealed standing water in areas on the pitch.

The referee had no alternative then to make the call to postpone the fixture.

The Hawks now face a long trip to Essex tomorrow night in their bid to shock their premier division hosts.

The absence of Woodford is a big blow – his quality and leadership will be missed in the heart of the defence.

Since returning to the team and being given the captain’s armband – following the sacking of former boss Stuart Ritchie – Woodford has been a revelation.

And he admitted he will not find it easy to watch from the sidelines at Braintree.

But, with confidence high in the Westleigh Park camp, he is adamant his team-mates can still pull off an upset.

‘It is a shame Saturday’s game was off because we wanted to keep our momentum going,’ said Woodford.

‘As a club we are looking to get to where Braintree are, so it is a good test for us.

‘The improvements we are making are there for all to see and we were disappointed to come away from Weston-super-Mare with just a point after leading twice. It felt like a loss.’

While the players may have enjoyed their day off at the weekend, there was no rest for manager Lee Bradbury.

By midday the Hawks gaffer was on the M25 heading for Bromley to take a look at next week’s league opponents, who drew 1-1 with Boreham Wood in the FA Trophy.