Gosport skipper calls for hard graft

28/7/12_SPORT'Craig Stares batting for Gosport Borough against Totton and Eling at Privett Park.''Picture: Steve Reid (122515-522)

28/7/12_SPORT'Craig Stares batting for Gosport Borough against Totton and Eling at Privett Park.''Picture: Steve Reid (122515-522)

Nic McMurray

Burridge stepped up to turn form book around

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Gosport Borough captain Lee Harrop is calling for a greater effort ahead of their Hampshire League division one contest against Shrewton at Privett Park.

Borough have won just two of their seven games – and the latest defeat at Portchester saw them slip to third from bottom.

Harrop knows if his side don’t improve soon they could find themselves facing a tense end-of-season relegation battle.

After dropping out of the Southern Electric Premier League last season, that is a prospect they will not relish.

‘It is time for us to show a lot more application,’ said Harrop.

‘We are not quite looking over our shoulders yet but we have to start winning more games.

‘The quality is there in our squad but we need to regain some confidence.

‘Too many of our players have been out of form all at the same time.

‘Usually we go out with a plan and maybe, myself included, we have been guilty of not being flexible enough.

‘We need to react more quickly to changing situations in games.’

Last week’s defeat at Portchester was typical of Gosport’s season to date as they were largely the architects of their own downfall.

With their hosts batting first, Harrop’s team paid the price for switching off and losing concentration.

Borough had the home side in trouble at 130 for eight but let them off the hook in the last 10 overs.

They conceded 55 extras as the hosts closed on 194 for nine. And the misery continued as they crumbled to 96 all out in their reply.

‘We never looked like scoring runs,’ said Harrop.

‘Portchester used the conditions far better than we did and we were far too careless.

‘Our lack of experience in what is a fairly young side has shown through at times.

‘It is time for us to knuckle down and pick up the wins we need. Players must get more involved and be more pro-active.

‘Other teams around us in the league have started winning, so we have to pick things up.

‘We have to realise we are not too good to go down again because this is a notoriously competitive league.

‘It is frustrating but we only need a win or two to change the whole atmosphere.

‘I am convinced we will be okay this season.’

Shrewton will be dangerous opponents, having posted some big scores already this summer.

Borough are boosted by the return of four senior players from holiday, though, with Simon Creal, Craig Stares, Greg Kitchin and Conor Regan all make a welcome reappearance.

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Lee Harrop, Jamie Presswell, Simon Creal, Craig Stares, Michael Jenkins, Andrew Tiddy, Tom Larner, Greg Kitchin, Conor Regan, Richard Edwards, Dale Patternotte

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