Pearce can’t wait for first taste of Wembley

Sam Pearce
Sam Pearce
Rowan Vine. Picture: Keith Woodland

Vine calling for Gosport to fight to the finish

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Sam Pearce has never previously been to the home of football.

Now the Gosport defender is preparing to step inside Wembley for the first time on Sunday.

It will be some bow as well – turning out for Gosport Borough on the hallowed turf in the FA Trophy final against Cambridge United.

Pearce reckons it will probably be the one and only time he visits the national stadium.

He said: ‘I’ve never been to Wembley before.

‘It’s going to be once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.

‘Once I have played there, I probably won’t find myself going back.

‘It’s going to be an amazing feeling to walk out there.

‘Everyone is looking forward to it. Hopefully I’ll be playing.

‘When it all starts to sink in, it’s a dream.

‘Everyone is buzzing for it.

‘When you are a little kid, every little boy that plays football dreams of playing at Wembley.

‘There are obviously going to be a few butterflies and the hairs on the back of the neck will be standing up.’

Skrill Premier side Cambridge will start as favourites for Sunday’s final.

That’s something Pearce believes can work in Gosport’s favour.

They have already overcome some big challenges to book their place at Wembley.

Nuneaton were seen off on penalties before Gosport went to North Ferriby and secured a 2-1 victory with goals from Sammy Igoe and Tim Sills. Then came the two-legged semi-final with fierce local rivals Hawks.

Sills bagged all three goals as Gosport secured a 3-1 success on aggregate.

Pearce said: ‘We’ve had some big ties along the way.

‘Obviously the semi-final was massive.

‘We went to Nuneaton, then North Ferriby, who spend a lot of money, and we went there and beat them.

‘They’re flying at the top of Skrill Premier.

‘It’s not been an easy run through the whole thing.

‘We’re going to be underdogs but we’ve been written off since day one.

‘It doesn’t bother us. We probably prefer it that way to be honest.

‘We’re going to go there and give 110 per cent. We’ll give everything.

‘On the day you never know, it’s 90 minutes of football.’

Since securing their famous semi-final triumph against the Hawks, Gosport have had no time to focus on the Trophy quest.

They are embroiled in a blood-and-thunder scrap to avoid relegation in the Skrill South.

That has seen them play eight times, including one county cup tie, between the semi-final second-leg on Saturday, February 22 and Sunday’s Wembley occasion.

But now the players are able to fully soak up what will be a superb few days for the club.

They are heading up to London today to kick their preparations off.

Pearce said: ‘It’s been a bit strange. We’ve had so many games in the past few weeks, it’s not given us time to think about it.

‘But now we can – we are all looking forward to it.

‘It’s great for the whole place – for the football club and for the community.’