What Gosport Borough's Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final tie will allow boss Shaun Gale to do ahead of key Southern League Premier South play-off chase run-in

Gosport Borough boss Shaun Gale reckons his side's Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final clash with Petersfield Town might just arrive at the perfect time.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 10:14 am
Nick Dembele, left, is in line to feature for Gosport against Petersfield to get some much-needed minutes after a spell out with a long-term ankle problem Picture: Tom Phillips
Nick Dembele, left, is in line to feature for Gosport against Petersfield to get some much-needed minutes after a spell out with a long-term ankle problem Picture: Tom Phillips

Boro welcome three-divisions lower Wessex Division One Rams to Privett Park on Saturday for the right to book a final meeting with Wessex Premier outfit Moneyfields.

Gosport's Southern League Premier South play-off push has somewhat stuttered in recent weeks with a run of three draws and a defeat in their previous four league outings.

But Gale believes the distraction of a different competition will allow him to 'slightly tinker' with personnel and his system ahead of the huge final seven league games eighth-placed Boro have remaining in their bid to secure a top-five finish.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

‘We know it'll be a tough game, Petersfield are a good, young, fit and energetic side, but, for me, it's an opportunity to give a few lads some game time who haven't had much recently - coming back from injury or suspension,’ said the Boro boss.

‘It might be a nice change from the normal league campaign. For us, any cup competition - be it the FA Cup, Portsmouth Cup or the Hampshire Cup, whatever you're playing in – you want to win.

‘With seven games to go and who we've got to play (in the league) - I've looked at a few things, we've worked on a few things in training - it gives us an opportunity to look at a few different people on Saturday.

‘The teams we've got coming up to play, they play a certain way, I want to slightly tinker - maybe have a look at a different shape - it gives me an opportunity to do that.’

Gale revealed he'll look to use the Petersfield semi-final to hand much-needed minutes to Rory Williams and Nick Dembele, who have recently returned from hamstring and ankle issues respectively.

While Bradley Tarbuck, Elliott Wheeler, Ryan Pennery and Matt Paterson are also likely to feature from the start against the lower division Rams.