Borough grounded by Spitfires

Brett Poate. Picture: Neil Marshall

Moneys hope big crowd can inspire flying Southern League start

0
Have your say

Alex Pike defended his team selection after his Gosport Borough side went down to a 2-0 home defeat to new Skrill South leaders Eastleigh.

In the absence of suspended skipper Jamie Brown, the Privett Park boss understandably opted to pack the midfield against a side who have been tipped by many to secure promotion this season.

Tom Dunford went closest for Gosport Borough. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132371-9589)

Tom Dunford went closest for Gosport Borough. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132371-9589)

And for 44 minutes, even though striker Tim Sills was often left as an isolated figure up front, the ploy appeared to work.

But then a deflected Yemi Odubade strike gave the Spitfires the lead with virtually the last kick of the first half.

While Eastleigh enjoyed more control in the second period and showed why they are top of the table, Borough certainly had their opportunities to equalise.

Tom Dunford wasted the best of them, slicing wide from an inviting cut-back from Mike Gosney – after a fine pass from Dan Wooden opened up the Eastleigh defence.

But after Borough failed to level, Glen Southam wrapped the points up with a neat finish after fashioning himself a yard of space in the box with a sharp turn just before the hour mark.

From that point on, there was no way back for the hosts.

It could have been a heavier defeat for Borough had Jai Reason’s curling free-kick not clattered back off the inside of the post, while Craig McAllister somehow missed an open goal from six yards out.

But Pike insisted he was happy with his team’s set-up, even if he was left disappointed with the result.

The boss explained: ‘I was happy with the performance but not the result.

‘Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I felt I had to play a certain way against Eastleigh who play a narrow four in there.

‘I wouldn’t have changed it even with hindsight. With Jamie Brown in the side, it gives you other options but he wasn’t available so certain things had to be done.

‘For the first 25 minutes, I thought it was all us and we were causing them problems.

‘When they scored the flukey first goal, the defenders are then moaning at half-time and saying the ball was coming back too quickly at them. Nobody was moaning after 44 minutes.

‘But you have got to make those decisions.’

Goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore felt the opening goal was the key moment in the game.

He said: ‘It was a tough game and if we could have gone in 0-0 at half-time, we could have nicked a draw.

‘That goal was harsh on us because I thought we had defended well.

‘It took a deflection off someone and I thought I was going to make a save like Tim Krul did at the weekend for Newcastle – but obviously not!

‘We are down near the bottom and those things just seem to be going against us at the moment.

‘Hopefully, we are due a bit of luck soon.’

GOSPORT: Ashmore, Forbes, Pearce, Richardson, Poate (Woodward, 73mins), Wooden, Dunford, Smith (Barton, 78), Gosney, Sills (Bennett, 78mins), Williams. Unused subs: Barfoot, Hinshelwood.