Pike ‘disappointed’ with Borough FA Cup draw

Ben Harding
Ben Harding
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Alex Pike believes Gosport Borough will have their work cut out if they are to keep their FA Cup dream alive.

Borough stormed past Bideford 7-0 at the weekend but were then handed a trip to Vanarama National League South rivals Whitehawk as their reward in the draw for the third qualifying round.

The Sussex outfit are among the favourites for promotion this season and the Borough boss made no secret of his disappointment with the draw.

Pike said: ‘It’s pretty disappointing because you go into this competition to play other teams in other leagues.

‘But they know us and we know them.

‘It’s quite a hostile place to go and they use the facilities to their advantage.

‘It’s a very awkward tie for us.

‘Every manager wants the weakest team at home and we have got one of the toughest teams away.

‘I would say we are massive underdogs to get through.

‘For the past two seasons they have been right up there in our division.

‘They made the play-offs last season and they have strengthened since then.’

The Hawks will be expected to come through their tie – if they beat Larkhall in tonight’s replay – after being handed a trip to lower-league opposition in Horsham YMCA or Aveley.

The Rocks face a tough home tie with Oxford City, while Petersfield Town host St Albans City.

Meanwhile, Borough are in action tonight as they entertain Salisbury in a friendly at Privett Park (7.45pm) with entry £5 and £1.

The reformed club under former Pompey striker Steve Claridge have made a flying start to life in the Wessex Premier division and are top of the table after 10 games.

And Pike is eager to use the fixture to get some of his players back to full fitness and give players a chance.

He said: ‘We managed to get Ben Harding and Dan Wooden back and both got 60 minutes at the weekend, while George Barker also played 20 minutes.

‘We have to be careful with them but I will look to give several first-teamers some minutes.’

Selected ties FA Cup third qualifying round: Horsham YMCA or Aveley v Larkhall Athletic or Hawks, Whitehawk v Gosport Borough, Bognor v Oxford City, Petersfield Town v St Albans City.

Ties to be played on October 10.