Borough display is just what Pike ordered

Dan Wooden Picture: Dave Haines
Dan Wooden Picture: Dave Haines
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Alex Pike was full of praise for his players after Gosport Borough eased into the next round of the FA Cup.

The Borough boss demanded concentration and intensity from his troops for their third-qualifying-round replay against Maidenhead United at Privett Park.

And that’s exactly what he got, as a Dan Wooden double and substitute Lee Wort’s effort earned Borough a fully-deserved 3-0 win and a trip to Devon-based Western League outfit Willand Rovers in the final qualifying round.

‘It was just what I asked for,’ said a delighted Pike.

‘I wanted high work-rate, intensity and concentration – and the players provided exactly that.

‘We showed that we learnt our lesson from Saturday’s draw and didn’t allow Maidenhead back into the game.

‘I felt we could have had more than just the one goal before half-time.

‘But in the second half we came out well and the goals came at the right time.

‘Maidenhed went four up top and we picked them off.

‘On the night we were the better team.’

Neither side imposed themselves in a cautious opening, although Rory Williams went close with a cross which bounced off the bar.

Maidenhead’s first chance arrived on 14 minutes, when Adrian Clifton headed wide from a good Dave Tarpey cross.

Danny Green then curled a good effort past the Borough upright from the edge of the area but it remained a nervous, scrappy affair.

Borough started to pick up some momentum and leading goalscorer Justin Bennett flashed a header past the upright.

The home side were desperately unlucky on 28 minutes when Steve Ramsey fired a snapshot on the turn from just outside the area.

Visiting goalkeeper Elvijs Putnins was beaten all ends up but the ball rebounded out off the inside of the post.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 27th minute, with Borough’s Wooden claiming the goal.

Wooden sent in a clever header which crashed off the underside of the bar and rebounded in off the goalkeeper.

Matt Paterson then saw his skidding drive tipped behind by Putnins, who was at full-stretch, as Borough looked to extend their lead before half-time.

Borough started the second period strongly, with Wooden bursting forward and forcing a partial save from Putnins.

Bennett latched onto the rebound but Harry Pritchard got back to clear off the line.

The home side tightened their grip on the game in the 56th minute, with Wooden grabbing his second goal of the night.

The midfielder surged forward with real purpose, and his low 25-yard drive on the run took a slight deflection and squirmed under Putnins.

Soon afterwards, Wooden thrashed another long-range effort narrowly over the top as he went in search for his hat-trick.

Borough, remaining dominant, were making sure they didn’t allow the visitors a way back into the game.

In the closing stages United pressed forward in a last-ditch effort, but Borough stood firm.

And substitute Wort sealed the win in stoppage-time with a superb 25-yard chip over the stranded goalkeeper.

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Forbes, Williams, Carter, Piate, Pearce, Ramsey, Smith, Paterson, Bennett, Wooden. Subs: Matthews, Wilde, Wort, Harris, Saez, Woodward, Dunford