Alex Pike on the hunt for new Gosport Borough striker

Warren Bentley Picture: Innes Marlow
Warren Bentley Picture: Innes Marlow
Matt Tubbs played well against Sutton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Injuries are big concern but defensive errors also worry Hawks

4
Have your say

Alex Pike has confirmed he is in the market for a new striker after seeing his approach for Winchester City’s Warren Bentley knocked back.

The Gosport Borough boss saw a £5,000 bid rejected by the Southern League division one south and west outfit this week.

We have moved on. We are now pursuing another target

Alex Pike

Bentley has scored 14 goals already this term and also impressed against Borough in the Hampshire Senior Cup clash last season.

Ahead of tomorrow’s Vanarama National League South trip to Hayes & Yeading (3pm), Pike has suggested he has now turned his attentions elsewhere, although he declined to reveal his target.

But he did confirm he needs to boost his side’s firepower to ease the burden on Justin Bennett.

And a new sponsorship deal with Gosport-based company Aerial Direct has boosted his transfer kitty.

The Borough boss said: ‘We made an official bid for Warren but that has been rejected.

‘It was £2,500 up front and another £2,500 after 15 games.

‘We were told by Winchester that was what they wanted but they now think that price has gone up.

‘It’s a fair bid and I’m not willing to increase it.

‘He is a free agent at the end of the season so I may have another look at it then.

‘We have now ended our interest in him but we will be making another bid for a striker next week.

‘We are pursuing another target.’

Bennett already has 15 goals to his name in all competitions this season after his four-goal salvo last week but nobody else at the club has scored more than one league goal.

And the situation was underlined when Tom Dunford’s double in the FA Cup 7-0 romp over Bideford last weekend took him into second place in the club’s leading goalscorer charts.

Regular strike partner Lee Wort has netted just once, while summer signing Jamie White has yet to get off the mark in Borough colours, although he did score in a 2-0 friendly win over Salisbury in midweek.

Pike said: ‘Apart from Bennett, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that we haven’t scored enough goals from other areas.

‘I worry that if anything happens to Lee Wort or Bennett, that it leaves me very light on the striker front.

‘It hasn’t happened for Jamie White yet but two years ago, he was the golden boot winner in this division.

‘It’s up to me to get the best out of him. I’m certainly not writing him off yet.

‘I may send him out to another club for a month and people forget that we did that with Bennett a couple of seasons ago and that worked very well.’

Pike has already allowed Perry Ryan to join Farnborough for a month and now has Ben Harding, George Barker and Dan Wooden back to fitness and available.

Skipper Sam Pearce is expected to be out for at least two months with a knee problem.

GOSPORT: Ashmore, Cuthbertson, Woodford, Poate, Williams, Carter, Dunford, Harding, Wooden, Wort, Bennett, Wheeler, Barker, Ramsey, White, Wilde, Brice.