Poate backs Borough to avoid Bath slip-up

Gosport Borough defender Brett Poate
Gosport Borough defender Brett Poate
Brett Poate

Defenders provide a big boost for Moneyfields

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Experienced FA Cup campaigner Brett Poate is backing Gosport Borough to get a result from their tricky first-qualifying-round tie at Bath City (3pm).

The full-back has experienced the highs and lows of the world famous competition, after being a member of the Hawks side who got to the fourth round against Liverpool in 2007.

The defender played in epic Cup wins over York City, Notts County and Swansea City before missing out in the big one at Anfield due to suspension.

He knows the importance of clean sheets and making life as difficult as possible for opponents in front of their home supporters.

‘The replay win over Swansea was probably the highlight of my career,’ said Poate.

‘The atmosphere was electric and it will live long in my memory.

‘The low point was missing out at Anfield because those chances only come along once in a lifetime.

‘The key to our success as underdogs was keeping clean sheets and not offering our opponents any encouragement.

‘We will have to do the same at Bath and then the fans will start to get on their backs.’

Borough will be buoyed by the fact they knocked the west country side out of the Cup in the third-qualifying round last season after a replay.

Since then, though, the Privett Park side have been promoted to the same level as their hosts and earned a 1-1 Skrill South draw at Bath at the start of the season.

Borough have found life tough at the higher level but will be boosted by last week’s first win and first clean sheet of the new campaign against Tonbridge Angels.

‘We went back to basics, where all the players knew their jobs,’ said Poate.

‘At times before that we may have been guilty of over-complicating things.

‘We have now gone back to what we are good at.

‘Picking up a first win was massively important, particularly to some of the players who have not been at this level before.

‘When we drew at Bath earlier in the season we showed good defensive resilience and could have snatched a win at the end.

‘There is no reason why we can’t go there and get a result, although they might feel they owe us one from last season.’

n Bognor hope to extend their nine-match unbeaten run when they travel to Weymouth in the Cup.