Catlin: Gosport need to defend better to avoid Weymouth shock

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MICK CATLIN admits Gosport Borough need to tighten up defensively if they want to make progress in the FA Cup.

Borough, who face a tricky second qualifying round tie at Southern League Weymouth tomorrow, have been leaking goals at an alarming rate.

They have conceded seven in their past two league games and the Dorset side will look to exploit this.

Borough assistant boss Catlin feels the key is to defend better as a team like they did in the win against Ebbsfleet earlier this season.

He said: ‘We are conceding far too many goals.

‘You are not going to win too many games when you are shipping goals at the rate we have.

‘We have to shut the door and stop making sloppy mistakes which are costing us goals.

‘It applies to all the players not just defenders.

‘We have to defend as a unit and become difficult to break down again.

‘It can be done as we showed against Ebbsfleet and Hampton & Richmond.

‘What happened at Bath City was typical of us lately.

‘We blaze a great chance over the bar and then the opposition break and score.

‘Our tendency is to concede at times when we look like getting a foothold in games.

‘If we can keep it tight at the back we know we will always create chances at the other end.’

Borough have not been helped by the absence of some of their more experienced performers.

Mike Carter, has been serving a suspension, while Brett Poate and TJ Cuthbertson have both been out injured.

Carter is definitely back after completing his three-match ban and is just the type of player Borough need for this cup tie.

The visitors are also optimistic Poate and Cuthbertson can shake off their respective calf and hamstring injuries.

‘If we can have three of our most influential players back it will give us a big boost,’ said Catlin.

‘We will be setting out to win the game and if that means grinding out a result then so be it.

‘The important thing is to make sure that we are in the hat for the next round on Monday.

‘Weymouth are a big club and being at home will feel fairly confident.

‘After our four-goal beating at Bath they will feel they have a chance of turning us over.

‘We have to put Tuesday night behind us and get back on track.’

A good run in the FA Cup can bring valuable finance into any club.

Chairman Mark Hook admitted at the start of the season that Borough were left with a £40,000 shortfall after sponsor Jim Fallon pulled out.

FA Cup prize-money would go some way towards alleviating the problem.

There is £4,500 available to the winner in this round with a further £7,500 up for grabs in the next round.

‘All we are focused on is getting the job done on the pitch,’ added Catlin.

GOSPORT BOROUGH (from): Rice, Dawson, Bird, Carmichael, Oastler, Cunliffe, Pearce, Wilde, Harding, Bentley, Wooden, Barron, Wright, Bailey, Lanahan, Brice.

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