Away humbling leaves Gosport Borough at ‘crossroads’

Tom Bird. Picture: Mick Young (161073-11)
Tom Bird. Picture: Mick Young (161073-11)
Jaosn Prior. Picture: Keith Woodland

Late heartbreak for Hawks

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Alex Pike admits he was left shell-shocked by Gosport Borough’s 5-1 National League South defeat at East Thurrock United.

A disastrous second half left the visitors in tatters and their boss in a state of disbelief.

‘I travelled with every expectation we would come away with all three points,’ said Pike.

‘Instead we came away with our pants well and truly pulled down.

‘I can’t explain it. It was a very poor performance from us.

‘Some of the individual performances out there were shocking and as a manager you cannot legislate for that.

‘You cannot come away from home, play like that and expect to get anything out of it.’

Borough started poorly and conceded the opening goal from an eighth-minute corner.

The ball was played in low for Joe Gardner to net with a first-time strike.

Borough improved as the half went on and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 36th minute.

Ben Harding had a powerful strike parried and full-back Tom Bird reacted quickest to knock in the rebound.

‘We started atrociously but then grew into the game,’ said Pike.

‘When we came in level at half-time I thought we were the only team that would go on and win it.

‘Instead we went back out and committed some catastrophic individual errors.

‘Give East Thurrock their due, they made sure they punished us.

‘The only positive was the number of chances we did create but East Thurrock were far more clinical than we were in front of goal.

Two goals in the space of four minutes early in the second period left Borough rocking.

The visitors continued to look vulnerable at the back with the home side easily adding two more.

Pike said: ‘We looked leggy and tired.

‘Our defending at times was shocking.

‘Maybe I should have changed things for this game but after taking seven points from the last nine I was loathe to do so.

‘You get caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

‘I trust the players but while they have great ability they also appear to have a ricket in them.

‘That is something we need to iron out.

‘Even though it’s early in the season, we have reached a bit of a crossroads.’

Borough face Bishop’s Stortford and Oxford City across the bank holiday weekend.

Pike added: ‘If we come out with the right results, it will help repair the damage.

‘If not, it could prove to be a long hard season.

‘We will be in a better position to take a snapshot of our season after next weekend.’

Gosport Borough: Rice, Cuthbertson, Bird, Carter, Poate (Wright, 60min), Pearce, Dawson (Wilde, 68min), Harding (Lanahan, 68min), Flood, Bentley, Oastler. Att: 203