Borough bid to climb table cancelled by big freeze

Borough boss Alex Pike, centre, backed the ref's decision to cancel last night's game
Borough boss Alex Pike, centre, backed the ref's decision to cancel last night's game
AFC Portchester cruised to victory. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Gosport Borough manager Alex Pike had mixed feelings after last night’s Southern League premier division home game against Frome Town was called off just 45 minutes before kick-off.

The match referee deemed parts of the Privett Park pitch frozen and too dangerous for the game to be played and followed earlier decisions at Horndean, Hayling and Fareham to cancel their fixtures due to the frosty conditions.

Pike was disappointed with the late call as his side looked to stretch their winning run to three games.

However, he admitted the sudden drop in temperature would have inevitably caused problems for the players involved.

‘It is unfortunate because at 4pm the pitch was perfectly playable,’ said Pike.

‘You can’t legislate for what might happen but the weather then deteriorated.

‘Over the course of 30 years in the game I have experienced this a number of times and you have to roll with it.

‘Frome have travelled a long way and I have come from Dorset.

‘But it is one of those unfortunate occasions when we are all in the hands of the weather.

‘After our excellent win at St Neots, we wanted the game on because it is a good time for us to play Frome.

‘We are on an unbeaten run and feel the momentum is with us at the moment.

‘On the other hand, looking at the pitch, it could have made the game a bit of a lottery.

‘If that was the case, then Frome might have fancied their chances a bit more.’

The postponement means new Borough striker Sammy Wilson, recently signed from Poole Town, has to wait longer to make his debut.

He will, however, be named in the squad for the game against Kettering Town at Privett Park on Saturday.

Pike has brought the front man to the club in a bid to strengthen his squad ahead of the busy Christmas schedule.

The manager knows results over the holiday period will have a big bearing on the second half of the season.

A good spell over Christmas can take Borough into the top half of the table and into a position where they could launch a bid for the play-offs.

A disappointing couple of weeks, however, could see Gosport dragged backed into a relegation dogfight.

But Pike believes his squad is good enough to climb the table and become a bigger force in the league.

‘We have got the quality in our squad,’ he said.

‘Christmas is when managers take a snap-shot of where they are so it is important.

‘One thing we have to do, though, is start winning games at home.

‘As a manager I am looking up and the players now know we can compete with the top teams in this division.

‘The beauty of the play-off system is teams in our position can still challenge to be in there.’