Gosport have ‘free hit’ against title favourites

Aaron Dawson in possession for Gosport against Stortford. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Aaron Dawson in possession for Gosport against Stortford. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Alex Pike has been sacked as Gosport Borough manager. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Gosport chairman: It wasn’t an easy decision to sack Pike

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Alex Pike admits it is time for Gosport Borough to shine as they take on two of the top five Vanarama National South clubs in the space of four days.

Title favourites Ebbsfleet United, with ex-Borough goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore visit Privett Park tomorrow (3pm).

On Tuesday night second-placed Hampton & Richmond Borough make the trip to the south coast.

It is a big test for Borough, who are yet to find any consistency so far this season.

Pike was busy recruiting players throughout the summer and added two more newcomers last week.

He needs his new-look side to gel quickly.

‘I am still waiting for us to kick on as a team,’ said Pike.

‘With the two players brought in last week that makes it 11 newcomers in all.

‘The signs are there that things are starting to fall into place.

‘I won’t hide behind the fact, though, that for me it has been a disappointing start and we have to do better.

‘This is an opportunity to do that against a couple of the top teams in our league.

‘I won’t have to motivate my players for these games and they are looking forward to it.

‘Against Ebbsfleet it is almost a free hit for us because nobody expects us to beat them.

‘As long as we go out and get what we do right then we give ourselves a chance.’

Borough will be hoping to make up for the disappointment of their last home game when a stoppage-time goal sent them to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bishop’s Stortford.

Pike felt his team created enough chances to win two games before the visitors delivered their sucker punch.

He needs his strikers to start firing again and will be boosted by the return of Chris Flood from injury.

Flood and Bentley have given Borough a very energetic presence up front.

Pike is also pleased to have Dan Wooden back from holiday.

Wooden made his first start of the season and scored in the 2-1 win at Oxford City on bank holiday Monday.

‘It is good to have Dan Wooden back because he has been a valuable member of the squad over the years,’ said Pike.

‘He gives us a good balance on the left.

‘I can see him and Tom Bird forming a good partnership down that side of the pitch.’

Borough showed great character to beat Oxford after going down to 10 men and 1-0 down.

Pike added: ‘If we are aspiring to be in the play-off mix at the end of the season these are the games we need to be getting something from.’

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Rice, Cuthbertson, Poate, Oastler, Bird, Carter, Carmichael, Dawson, Harding, Wooden, Bentley, Flood, Wright, Pearce, Barron, Bailey