Much has been made of two lower league sides making their way through to this season’s FA Cup Semi-Finals at Wembley but the achievements of Gosport Borough , who will compete under the arch in this season’s FA Trophy Final on Sunday, are no less impressive.
The Hampshire side were playing their football in the Wessex League a mere seven seasons ago but following a meteoric rise through the divisions they are now a Conference South side and find themselves competing in non-League football’s biggest cup final.
Boss Alex Pike has been the mastermind behind Gosport’s success and he admits that for his side to be in Sunday’s Wembley Final is a huge achievement.
“To get success in The Trophy at the top end of non-League football is a great achievement for both the club and myself,” said the Gosport boss.
“You look at the teams that are in this, the likes of Cambridge, Luton, Wrexham and Grimsby, and here we are about to play at Wembley.”
While Gosport have endured a difficult first season in the Conference South their opponents on Sunday, Cambridge United, continue to chase promotion back to the Football League but Pike believes the lofty position of the U’s takes the pressure off his side.
“It’s a game we can’t really lose. Going to play at Wembley then it’s a win-win situation for everybody,” continued Pike.
“We may not be the richest area compared to Cambridge but the Chairman sets a budget, we work within those constraints and we’ve proved that you don’t have to spend loads of money to get to a Trophy Final.”
Pike has labelled this a ‘David versus Goliath clash’ but he feels that is exactly what will get his side the support of the neutrals come Sunday as he goes looking to emulate Wigan’s giant killing of Manchester City in last season’s FA Cup Final.
“That’s the good thing about football, if it was predictable no-one would go and watch. The neutrals will be turning up on Sunday hoping that David beats Goliath and I’ll be one of those.”
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