Alex Pike hailed Adam Wilde’s impact as Gosport Borough closed in on a first Hampshire Cup crown for 27 years.
The midfielder struck twice in a classy display which saw the Privett Park side defeat hosts Farnborough 3-1 in the semi-final at the Rushmoor Community Stadium last night.
Having put his side 2-1 ahead early in the second half, Wilde watched skipper Sam Pearce finish the job with his head late on.
But it wasn’t just his goals that impressed Pike as Borough booked their spot in the Fratton Park final.
The Borough boss said: ‘I thought he was a different quality and not just because of his goals. He was a threat all night.
‘I have never won the Hampshire Cup and Borough have waited 27 years for a chance to regain the trophy.
‘It would be nice to put that one to bed.
‘We started brightly for 25 minutes and the only disappointment was we didn’t go two or three up.
‘In the second half, the difference was we took our opportunities when they arrived.’
Pike signalled his intent by naming a strong starting line-up.
Brett Poate returned from injury and his presence allowed Andy Robinson to move into a midfield role.
But it was Farnborough who had the first sight of goal as Phil Page fired wide in a frenetic opening.
Borough then grabbed the lead out of the blue after nine minutes with a terrific Wilde strike.
Wilde collected a Paco Saez throw-in on the right and, with the Farnborough defenders backing off, he curled home a shot off the inside of the far post.
The visitors had their tails up and Matt Paterson forced a good save from the the hosts’ keeper Ashley West soon after.
Borough went close again when Sam Pearce headed the ball down and Justin Bennett fired a low shot against the post.
Wilde had another great chance after 20 minutes but blazed the ball over the top from a good position.
With Mike Carter commanding the midfield, Borough went on to dominate the remainder of the first half but paid the price for not making it count.
Five minutes before the break, Robinson was adjudged to have handled the ball when a cross came into the area and Duncan Culley beat Nathan Ashmore with his spot-kick.
Steve Ramsey almost restored Gosport’s lead on the stroke of half-time but his fierce strike was superbly saved by West.
Borough did get their noses back in front eight minutes into the second half, though, as Wilde fired home another stunning strike.
When Carter was fouled on the edge of the box, Wilde stepped up and crashed the free-kick into the bottom corner.
On the balance of play it was no more than Borough deserved.
And the visitors kicked on in a bid to put the game beyond doubt.
After Bennett had seen an effort bounce narrowly wide and his strike partner Paterson was denied by defender Chris Hand, Borough skipper Sam Pearce did just that as he headed home on 72 minutes.
Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Saez, Williams, Carter, Poate, Pearce, Ramsey, Robinson, Paterson, Bennett, Wilde. Subs: Forbes, Benham, Dunford, Wooden, King