Pike happy to keep on experimenting

Warren Bentley scored his first goal for Gosport Borough against Bognor on Saturday Picture: Mick Young
Warren Bentley scored his first goal for Gosport Borough against Bognor on Saturday Picture: Mick Young
Alex Pike Picture: Malcolm Wells

Borough boss facing one of his toughest challenges

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Alex Pike will continue to further explore his options as he takes his Gosport Borough squad to Ryman North outfit Godalming Town tonight (7.45pm).

With the start of the National League South season less than two weeks away the Borough boss is stepping up preparations.

His team also go to Basingstoke Town tomorrow night and follow that up with a trip to Wimborne Town on Saturday.

Borough then finish their pre-season against National League Eastleigh at the Aerial Direct Stadium next Monday (7.45pm).

Pike felt the experiments he tried in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Bognor were a success and showed he has good options to be flexible in the season ahead.

TJ Cuthbertson – one of the few Borough players who has played three or four 90 minutes already – was given a rest.

Aaron Dawson slotted into the right-back position and did an excellent job.

‘In our league we need to be able to change things to suit different situations,’ said Pike.

‘I wanted to rest TJ and came across an old text on my phone from three years ago when I was offered Aaron Dawson on loan by Exeter City.

‘Their manager asked me if I would like to take him and said he was a physical lad who could play midfield or right-back.

‘That triggered my thinking and reminded me he is a utility player.

‘He produced a very accomplished performance and gives me another option.’

Borough were confident winners over the Rocks, with striker Ben Wright claiming a hat-trick.

Fellow striker Warren Bentley also got off the mark with his first goal for the club.

Pike regards the extra friendly game arranged against Eastleigh is an added bonus for both clubs.

Eastleigh will be the third National League side faced by Borough this summer.

Gosport beat Aldershot Town 3-1, before losing 2-1 against Woking.

Meanwhile, the Hawks have switched tonight’s pre-season friendly against Petersfield Town to Westleigh Park (7.45pm).

The game was originally due to take place at Petersfield but the Rams’ Love Lane pitch isn’t ready.

Defender Ed Harris and attacking midfielder Wes Fogden made their first appearances of pre-season at Team Solent on Friday.

Both players are recovering from long-term injuries and were pleased to get 15 minutes under their belt.

‘We are looking at building both the players up in the next few weeks, working them towards match fitness,’ said boss Lee Bradbury.

‘It may be too much to ask for them to be ready for the start of the season, though.

‘I am expecting a competitive game against Petersfield because Ian Saunders always has his team well organised.

‘We must be looking to go through the gears as the league season gets closer.’

In a busy night for local clubs, Fareham Town host Sussex League Bosham FC at Cams Alders and Horndean entertain Wick FC at Five Heads Park.

Moneyfields travel to take on Follands Hamble at Follands Park.

All games kick off at 7.45pm.