Seven up for Grove boss Ledger – but he’s not expecting an eighth straight win in Portsmouth Senior Cup tie at Gosport Borough

Steve Ledger took his winning run since replacing Wayne Grant as Paulsgrove manager to seven games with a seven-goal cup spree against lower division opposition.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 2:55 pm
Shane Cornish struck his second hat-trick of the season as Paulsgrove defeated Durley 7-1 in the Hampshire Trophy. Picture: Keith Woodland

Shane Cornish collected his second hat-trick of the season as the Hampshire Premier Leaguers caned Southampton League outfit Durley 7-1 in the Hampshire FA Trophy at Marsden Road.

But Ledger doesn’t expect to make it eight victories in a row when Grove face another cup tie on Wednesday.

That’s because they have been handed the toughest possible draw in the first round of the Portsmouth & District FA Senior Cup.

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With Hawks having not entered, Gosport Borough are the highest-ranked club in the non-league pyramid in the tournament - and Grove have been given a trip to Privett Park (7.45pm).

‘It’s a free hit for us,’ said Ledger. ‘I don’t expect to get anything at Gosport, they should go through comfortably.

‘It’s a big, big tie for us. I’ve told the players just to enjoy it, you don’t get many chances at our level to play a cup tie under lights.

‘It’ll be a good chance for me and the coaching staff to see where we are fitness wise and ability wise.’

Ledger will have to reshuffle his defence as centre halves Rob White and Mike Mallory are both unavailable, as is skipper Aaron Fennemore.

But strikers Danny Lane and Jake Daniels are back in contention and there could also be a chance for new forward Freddie Kemp, recently plucked from the Portsmouth Sunday League, against Southern League opposition.

Kemp grabbed his first Grove goal against Durley, with Archie Scott, Fennemore and White completing the scoring.

A handful of the Grove squad were at the club when they reached the 2018/19 PSC final. Having crashed 7-0 at Westleigh Park in the semi, they were sent through to the Fratton Park showpiece after Hawks subsequently withdrew from the competition. Grove - whose squad contained current Fareham trio Josh Benfield, Connor Messenbird and Luke Slade - then lost 7-1 to Moneyfields in the final.