Hawks hero out to bury painful memories

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Ryan Pennery in action for Gosport Borough against Stratford. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

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Hawks goalkeeper Scott Bevan has more reason than most for dreaming of victory over Gosport Borough in the FA Trophy semi-final.

He is hoping a return to Wembley will see him lay a few ghosts after suffering defeat against Stevenage Borough in the 2007 final.

Bevan was a member of the Kidderminster Harriers side that day and has admitted he still has nightmares about the occasion.

Harriers led 2-0 before Stevenage fought back to snatch a 3-2 win with a goal in the dying seconds.

Bevan managed to keep out a Steve Morison volley but the Borough striker knocked home the rebound.

‘It was gutting to lose in the way we did and I felt I was partly at fault for their winning goal,’ he said.

‘Playing at Wembley is something special but it has left me with some bad memories.

‘It would be nice to go back there with the Hawks and put them to rest.

‘That day is probably still the most disappointing in my long career.

‘I never dreamed when I joined the Hawks in the summer that I might get this close to another Wembley appearance.

‘Twelve months ago I was wondering if I would ever play again after a bad hand injury.’

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury took a risk bringing Bevan to Westleigh Park last summer.

However, the former Bristol Rovers keeper has repaid his boss with a series of outstanding performances.

He has been a key man in the Hawks’ current 12-game unbeaten run.

Bevan makes the most of his 6ft 7in frame to command his area, while his superb communication skills have also been crucial.

The Hawks have developed into a solid defensive unit and a lot of that is down to Bevan’s marshalling.

And he is quietly confident his side can negotiate the two-legged semi-final against Borough successfully.

At the same time he accepts it is going to be tough.

‘We won’t be taking Gosport lightly,’ said the stopper.

‘They have already shown they are capable of beating good sides in this competition.

‘We may have already beaten them in the league but they had a player sent off early on and made us fight all the way.

‘That win counts for nothing going into these two games.

‘A two-legged tie is a new experience for both teams and all the pressure will be on us at home in the first leg.

‘We have to make sure we go out and do a professional job.

‘The prize at the end of it is massive for both clubs.’

The Hawks host Gosport Borough at Westleigh Park in the first leg on Saturday with the return at Privett Park the following week (both 3pm).

Entry for the first game is £13 adults and £8 concessions.