Borough keen to find cure for travel sickness

Martin Rice is expected to return for Gosport Borough   Picture: Malcolm Wells

Martin Rice is expected to return for Gosport Borough Picture: Malcolm Wells

Alex Pike

Gosport are down after Concord’s late strike

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Gosport Borough return to National League South action with a tough trip to St Albans City at Clarence Park tomorrow (3pm).

The visitors’ FA Cup exit means they have gone 10 days without any league action.

Boss Alex Pike was able to give his senior players a run out in midweek when they beat Eversley & California 4-0 in the Hampshire Senior Cup.

That will have helped blow some of the cobwebs away but sixth-placed St Albans will be a totally different proposition.

Borough, however, will be hoping for a repeat of last season when they came away from Clarence Park with a 3-1 win under their belts.

Away performances so far this term have been problematical for Gosport.

They are yet to record a win on their travels, managing just two draws at Dartford and Hungerford Town.

Borough have also suffered their two heaviest defeats away from home, losing 5-1 at East Thurrock and 4-0 at Bath City.

Assistant boss Mick Catlin has challenged the players to show greater mental resilience on their travels.

He said: ‘Our away form has been very poor so far, with some very erratic performances.

‘The challenge for the players is to replicate the solid performances produced at home when we are on our travels.

‘It is not down to the tactics or formations adopted but all down to the players’ attitudes.

‘We have often had a good away record in previous seasons.

‘With a new squad of players coming in, it takes time for them to buy into the old mentality.

‘Part of the problem is we have been conceding too many goals.

‘Our priority has to be trying to achieve far greater consistency.’

Catlin is hoping the short break will see Borough return to action a little more refreshed.

It has given some members of the squad time to recover from their niggling injuries.

Goalkeeper Martin Rice is expected to be fit again after twisting his foot running last weekend.

In midweek, defender Sam Pearce took over between the posts but Borough are hoping that won’t be necessary again.

Experienced keeper Rice joined Borough from Truro City during the summer and has proved a big success.

He has pulled off some crucial saves for Borough as well as taking command of his area.

The only player not fit is Chris Flood, who has just undergone knee surgery and is expected to be out for at least another six weeks.

Striker Ben Wright, who grabbed Borough’s winning goal in their 1-0 home win over Margate, is in competition with Ollie Bailey and Warren Bentley to start up front.

Leading goalscorer Bentley was the one to miss out last time.

Bentley returned to the goal trail in midweek and will be hoping that can earn him a return to the starting line-up.

Gosport Borough: Rice, Bird, TJ Cuthbertson, Poate, Oastler, Dawson, Carmichael, Carter, Barron, Wright, Bentley, Bailey, Wooden, Pearce

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