Gosport will have to defeat ‘bogey’ side Taunton Town at Privett Park tomorrow to maintain their charge towards the Southern League south & west play-offs (3pm).
Borough are yet to beat the west country visitors during manager Alex Pike’s tenure, with the former Wimborne boss referring to them as a ‘pub team’ a couple of years ago.
The home side will finally give a debut to on-loan Hawks striker Liam Sewell, who was forced to sit out Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Clevedon because of registration problems.
‘We are keen to get young Liam up and running after he missed out in midweek,’ said Borough assistant manager Mick Catlin.
‘He has a bit of pace about him and we need his youthful exuberance.
‘The lad will hopefully feel he has a point to prove after spending most of the season on the Hawks bench.
‘He is bound to benefit from just playing regularly and if he can start with a goal it can give him the confidence to go forward and get more.
‘This is a good game for him to make his debut in front of the home fans.’
Borough were disappointed to drop two points at lowly Clevedon after controlling the second half.
Nathan Lynch gave them the lead on the stroke of half-time but one defensive slip proved costly.
‘It felt as though we had lost afterwards,’ said Catlin.
‘But it was another point away from home and if we can win our home games and keep collecting points on the road then we won’t be too far away.’
Borough are boosted by the return of influential captain David Birmingham, who has missed the past three games due to a thigh strain.
Birmingham’s organisation, communication and drive have been missed.
And his presence means Dan Wooden can go back to his accustomed position wide on the left flank.
Meanwhile, the home side are optimistic Adam Wylde can return from injury.
‘Taunton always raise their game against us ever since Alex called them a pub team,’ said Catlin.
‘We must look to lay the bogey and another win will see us close the gap even further on the top five.’
Gosport: Hutchings, Birmingham, Cook, Ward, Cox, Ford, Jones, Arnold, Wooden, Sewell, Lynch, Taylor, Sainsbury, Smith, Heather, Brown.