Experienced Gosport Borough defender Brett Poate fears he may miss out on the biggest game in the club’s history because of injury.
It would be a massive blow for the 30-year-old, especially as he has been in this position before.
Poate was a member of the Hawks squad that reached the fourth round of the FA Cup in 2007-08 but missed out on their glamour trip to face Liverpool at Anfield.
A booking in the third-round tie at Swansea City meant Poate was suspended, leaving him massively disappointed.
Now a hamstring strain means he is a doubt for Monday’s play-off final at Hemel Hempstead.
‘Missing out on the chance to play at Anfield was gutting at the time,’ said Poate.
‘Now Gosport have this massive game, I have only a 50/50 chance of making it because of a hamstring problem.
‘I have been having physio every night in the hope that some sort of miracle might happen.
‘The decision won’t be made until nearer the time and I just have to rest up and hope.
‘I am desperate to play but won’t declare myself fit if I am not because I wouldn’t want to go out there and let people down.’
Poate’s experience has been a key factor in Borough’s success this season, their first back in the Southern League premier division.
He made nearly 200 appearances in Blue Square Bet South with the Hawks before making further appearances at that level with Eastleigh.
The defender believes that, if Borough win the play-off final, they are capable of surviving at the higher level.
Poate said: ‘There are a lot of players in the team who have played at Conference South level already.
‘The likes of Sammy Igoe, Aaron Cook, Danny Smith, Jamie Brown and myself have been there and done it.
‘We must have played nearly a thousand Conference South games between us
‘The club wouldn’t need to go mad and spend a lot of money bringing in lots of new players. Two or three would be enough to help us consolidate.
‘Now we are in this position we have to go for it.’