ALEX PIKE was left highly encouraged after Gosport Borough beat National League Aldershot Town 3-1 in their friendly at the Aerial Direct Stadium.
Two goals from new striker Ben Wright and one from another newcomer Chris Flood earned Borough a deserved win against the Shots.
The only disappointment for Pike was that Borough switched off after scoring their third goal to concede at the other end.
‘Pre-season results don’t mean much but I thought we put in a good performance,’ said Pike.
‘I saw some of the fruits of the hard work put in during the summer.
‘Since the end of last season I don’t think there is another manager who has worked as hard as I have to bring players in.
‘I have covered over three-and-a-half-thousand miles working to sign these players.
‘One swallow doesn’t make a summer but I have to be really pleased.
‘I have been around long enough not to read too much into these games but there were a lot of positives.
‘This is when partnerships are forged and that is what I saw out there.’
Goalkeeper Martin Rice, signed from Truro City, made a very good debut with two excellent saves in the opening 25 minutes.
He blocked one good effort from Iffy Allen but did even better in the 21st minute.
Nick Arnold’s free-kick from the edge of the area was heading for the bottom corner.
Rice, however, went full-length to turn the ball behind for the corner.
Wrght then showed his class as Gosport took control of the match.
He gave Borough a 25th-minute lead, curling in an exquisite free-kick from the edge of the area.
A minute before the break he latched onto a superb 40-yard ball from TJ Cuthbertson to divert the ball past the stranded keeper inside the area.
‘Ben Wright did exactly what I wanted him to do and was a battering ram up front,’ said Pike.
‘He also produced a couple of quality finishes.
‘There were a number of stand out performances out there.
‘Our goalkeeper made a couple of crucial saves and Chris Flood’s touches in and around the box were excellent.
‘Joe Oastler at the back was also outstanding.’
Borough’s third goal in the 65th minute was superbly crafted.
Sam Lanahan played a clever ball between two defenders to set Josh Carmichael free down the right.
Carmichael made good ground before sending in an inch-perfect cross which Flood swept into the net.
Within a minute the Shots got one back as Matt McCure headed home.
GOSPORT BOROUGH: Rice, Cuthbertson, Bird, Carter, Oastler, Pearce, Dawson, Harding, Flood, Wright, Bentley. Subs: Lanahan, Brice, Carmichael, Wooden, Wilde