Alex Pike hailed Justin Bennett’s ‘spectacular’ winning goal as Gosport Borough beat AFC Totton 1-0 at Privett Park yesterday.
The boss was delighted by the team display from his men as they made it 11 games unbeaten in the Southern League premier division.
Borough, who are now in 10th spot, could have had more goals but in the end were grateful to some superb stops from keeper Nathan Ashmore.
‘That was a thoroughbred team display out there and every one of my lads could have earned the man of the match award,’ said Pike.
‘We already knew Totton would be a difficult side to break down and it took a spectacular goal from Justin to make the difference.
‘Yes, Nathan Ashmore did have to make three outstanding saves.
‘But the important thing is he did his job and preserved our lead – that’s why he is our number one.
‘Defensively we showed the quality required at this level and – as I have said before – it was a team effort that earned us another valuable victory.’
Ashmore denied James Coutts, Chris Mason and Richard Gillespie after Bennett had given Gosport the lead on 19 minutes.
A slip by Stags substitute defender Ross Bottomley, who had second earlier replaced the injured Mike Gosney, left the Borough striker to nip in and beat Totton keeper Gareth Barfoot with a stunning volley from 25 yards.
Lee Molyneaux and Brett Poate ensured the home side defended their lead with ease for the remainder of the half.
At the other end Bennett and Dan Wooden remained dangerous and Molyneaux was unlucky to have a penalty appeal rejected.
Bennett went close again in the second half before Borough lost Tom Dunford to concussion after he crashed into advertising hoardings in protecting the lead.
But to the delight of the 372 fans, the hosts stayed strong to wrap up the points.
Meanwhile, the Wessex League premier division fixtures involving AFC Portchester, Fareham, Moneyfields, Horndean and Hayling were all postponed.
– DAVE KEMP