CAMBRIDGE UNITED 4
(Bird 38, Donaldson 50, 59, Berry 78 (pen))
GOSPORT BOROUGH 0
CAMBRIDGE UNITED completed step one of their FA Trophy and promotion double dream with a comprehensive victory over Gosport Borough at Wembley.
Portsmouth loanee Ryan Bird put the U’s ahead before Ryan Donaldson’s double and Luke Berry’s penalty made sure the trophy went to the Abbey Stadium.
Alex Pike’s side gave as good as they got but were unable to really test keeper Will Norris and United’s class shone through under the arch.
Richard Money’s men carved out the first real chance of the game, Bird beating Sam Pearce for pace but the striker saw his shot well saved by Nathan Ashmore.
There might be 42 league places separating the two sides but the Skrill South strugglers fought back, Danny Smith firing over from a difficult angle before Mike Gosney ran at the U’s defence only to scuff his shot from the edge of the box.
The impressive Ashmore then denied Josh Gillies before he was finally beaten on 38 minutes; Bird expertly lobbing the keeper after a hint of offside.
Boro started the second half well but they received another setback just five minutes after the restart as Donaldson latched onto a long pass, took the ball wide of Ashmore and fired home.
The Step 2 side brought on Dan Woodward and Rory Williams hoping to inject some pace and energy into the game but they were soon 3-0 down on 59 minutes.
Greg Taylor played a lovely reverse pass to Luke Berry and the midfielder, who has come through United’s ranks, saw his shot hit the post before Donaldson slammed the rebound home after a brief scramble.
Gosney again failed to get a clean connection on a shot following some miscommunication in the U’s defence before Bennett narrow fired wide after a fantastic turn.
Despite their endeavour, Boro failed to find a way back into the game and United made it four from the penalty spot in the 78th minute.
Substitute Andy Pugh was brought down by Pearcewhen he looked poised to score and Berry stepped up to send Ashmore the wrong way.
Youngster Woodward almost grabbed a deserved consolation for Boro with five minutes remaining but his swerving effort clipped the top of the bar and went over.
Gosport may have revelled in their underdog status throughout the competition to beat the likes of Nuneaton, North Ferriby United and Havant & Waterlooville but Cambridge were just one step too far as Money’s men lifted the trophy.
CAMBRIDGE UNITED (4-4-1-1): Norris; Tait, Miller, Coulson (Bonner 85), Taylor; Hughes (Arnold 72), Berry, Champion, Gillies (Pugh 60); Donaldson; Bird.
Subs not used: Roberts, Austin.
GOSPORT BOROUGH (4-4-2): Ashmore, Molyneaux, Poate, Pearce, Forbed; Carmichael, Brown (Williams 57), Smith, Gosney (Wooden 70); Sills (Woodward 57), Bennett.
Subs not used: Scott, Wilde.