Rovers out of the FA Cup – post match comment.
Rovers assistant boss Hedley Steele summed up the post match mood at Silver Street on BBC Radio Devon, saying: “It’s disappointing, we have mixed emotions. Never liked losing football matches and there was a big prize on the end of today. We genuinely felt we could make the next step and be in the draw, but that’s football. It simply wasn’t to be.”
“Losing Scott to a warm-up injury was a big blow, he felt he pulled a calf-muscle. Scott being Scott I thought he was joking. Unfortunately he was deadly serious and the physio took a look and felt it was a no go. So, 25 minutes before the game we were having to knock on the referee’s door and Say sorry ref we need to change it. Losing a player of his quality was a huge blow, but we cannot use any excuses. We came up short against a class side despite our lads putting in a great deal of effort.”
On the red card – the second yellow, Steele said: “For me I felt it was a harsh second yellow, but hey-ho, it’s the referee’s call. What we did not do was slump the shoulders, we kept working hard for the entire 90 minutes. Yes, Gosport were in a comfort zone after the red card, but our lads gave it a go.”
On the overall say Steele said: “The cup run has been special and now its over we can only reflect on what we’ve done. It’s lifted the profile of the club and no doubt given everyone a lift. Let’s hope some come back. We now have to play catch-up’ in the Tool station league, but we have a great bunch of lads at the club and there’ll be no resting on laurels.”
Club secretary Dominic Clark said: “It was a magnificent day and hat’s off to all our good club folk who worked so hard to get that extra-ordinary 932 crowd into the ground. They (Gosport) are a class act, but we had our moments and it’s been a special day all round. Here’s hoping some of them return for Wednesday night’s St Lukes game with Witheridge or Saturday’s Toolstation League game with Cadbury Heath (3pm).”
Clark concluded: “Their number four Carter was head and shoulders the game’s top man, but for us I thought both Roger Ingram and James Blake were very good.”