Borough prepare for revenge mission

Gosport striker Lee Word, right Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Gosport striker Lee Word, right Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Jez Bedford in action for the Hawks against Sutton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Pompey answer Hawks SOS

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Gosport Borough have a score to settle as they make the short trip along the south coast to take on Whitehawk in the Vanarama Conference South at the Enclosed Ground tomorrow (3pm).

The hosts are one of just three teams to beat Borough this season – winning 2-1 at Privett Park back in September.

In that game, Gosport conceded twice in the opening half hour and finished the game with nine men.

Brett Poate was shown a red card late on and Rory Williams went off injured in stoppage-time.

Since then, though, Borough have been beaten just once in 18 games and boast the best defensive record in the division.

Alex Pike’s team are also unbeaten on their travels and are determined to defend their remarkable record.

They also have the incentive of the knowledge that a win could take them up to second in the table.

Pike’s assistant manager Mick Catlin is predicting a hard-fought contest on the Sussex team’s sloping pitch.

‘We feel we owe them one after they beat us earlier in the season,’ he said.

‘There wasn’t a lot between us in the first meeting and I don’t expect it to be any different this time around.

‘We know it is not the best place to go – with their pitch and lack of atmosphere.

‘It is the sort of place where you have to be able to grind out a result.

‘We have shown that is something we have been able to do on our remarkable away run.

‘And our players are determined to keep the run going as long as possible.

‘We are expecting a physical challenge but our team have not allowed anybody to bully them.

‘Our back four are more than capable of dealing with that sort of threat.’

Whitehawk currently sit in seventh – just one point off the play-off places and are in good form in the league.

In their last league game they thrashed Chelmsford City 5-1.

And their squad includes lots of Football League experience, including former Crawley Town midfielder Sergio Torres.

Borough, though, are in a confident mood themselves.

This was highlighted by their 2-0 Hampshire Senior Cup win over the Hawks on Tuesday night.

Striker Justin Bennett again showed what a deadly finisher he is.

With the tie in the balance he pounced on a mistake in the visitors’ defence to swing the tie Borough’s way.

His knack of making opportunities count could prove to make the difference again at Whitehawk.

‘Our ability to take our chances is the big difference between this season and last,’ said Catlin.

‘In Matt Paterson and Lee Wort we have another two strikers capable of scoring goals.

‘Lee showed his quality of finishing with our second goal in midweek.

‘We are going to Whitehawk with nothing to fear intent on getting another good result.’

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Forbes, Pearce, Poate, Williams, Dunford, Carter, Smith, Wooden, Bennett, Paterson, Wort, Molyneaux, Wilde, Saez, Ramsey