Tim Sills has revealed his Gosport Borough career has been hampered – after continuing to play on with a fractured ankle.
The much-travelled striker was the two-goal hero in the FA Trophy win over local rivals Hawks.
He knows Borough must try to forget their forthcoming date at Wembley to focus on Skrill South survival.
That push must start with tomorrow’s trip to Dover Athletic as Gosport desperately need to inject some momentum into their bid for safety.
Sills, who joined from Bashley, admits he struggled early on at Privett Park, largely because of his injury.
He said: ‘I arrived in September or October but it has been very stop-start.
‘When I arrived, I had an ankle injury which actually turned out to be a fracture.
‘I just thought it was the ligaments and I was strapping it up, then I got an X-ray after six weeks and it turned out it was a fracture.
‘I was managing that, while I was trying to play.
‘I haven’t trained for about five months now but it’s fine when I play. Then I recover and do it all again’
The 34-year-old struck with two memorable headers to send Borough to Wembley last weekend.
But on Tuesday, Alex Pike’s side slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Eastbourne in the league.
Sills said: ‘All I had to do is get my head on the crosses and I knew the ball would end up in the back of the net.
‘The perfection of the cross from Adam Wilde was the easier of the two and the second from Andy Forbes had me thinking the Havant keeper would beat me to it.
‘I stuck my head in and was so pleased to see it loop over him into the net. It was great but now as a group, we need to shelve what is a wonderful achievement and focus on getting ourselves out of the mire and climbing the league table. We need points.
‘I fully believe we can get out of relegation trouble.
‘It’s been tough that we have been down at the bottom but we have been getting it together slowly.’
Alex Pike was at Wembley yesterday to get a feel of the surroundings ahead of next month’s showpiece event.
Borough won the toss to wear their home strip and use the home dressing room.
But Pike is keen to get his players’ minds back on the mission to avoid the drop.
He said: ‘I’ve been up there to have a look around.
‘The manager’s room is bigger than our entire changing room area at Privett Park.
‘But I’m still mindful that we have got to get ourselves out of trouble in the league.
‘I rested players in midweek because we’d had two really tough games.
‘Maybe that was a bit silly of me but we need a response at Dover.’