Borough’s play-off hopes hang by a thread

Dan Wooden. Picture: Allan Hutchings (160142-251)
Dan Wooden. Picture: Allan Hutchings (160142-251)
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Keith Woodland

Hawks boss sickened by home form

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Gosport Borough’s play-off hopes suffered a further dent as they lost 3-2 to Concord Rangers at Privett Park on Saturday.

The troubled hosts, who have netted just one win in their last seven National League South games, remain in fourth place.

However, they have played as many as three more games than their fellow play-off chasers.

Borough looked to have done enough to share the points but their hopes were dashed by a stoppage-time goal.

And assistant manager Mick Catlin admitted the club are still dogged by their off-field financial problems.

‘We cannot sign any players until the league lift the transfer embargo and that won’t happen until all the players are paid up to date,’ he said.

‘There is still work to be done on that front.

‘Until then we just have to soldier on.

‘Lee Wort, Andy Robinson and George Barker have all left the club, which leaves us down to the barebones.

‘On Saturday, we had 12 experienced Conference South players and four lads from the under-21 squad on the bench.

‘People are working hard off the pitch to sort the finances out but it needs to be done sooner rather than later.

‘If we are to maintain any chance of making the play-offs we need to strengthen.

‘With the transfer deadline looming at the end of the month, we need time to get players in. This has to be a priority.’

Dan Wooden gave Borough the lead in the 32nd minute.

He tucked the ball underneath the visiting keeper after Justin Bennett’s unselfish square pass.

Concord levelled on the stroke of half-time after a slip by Brett Poate.

The equaliser gave Rangers a lift and they got their noses in front 10 minutes before full-time with a powerful John Easterford header.

In a dramatic finale, Poate looked to have rescued a point when he smashed the ball home after being picked out by Mike Carter with four minutes left.

Joy turned to despair, though, when Steve King forced home the winning goal in a goalmouth scramble.

‘We did not play badly and games against Concord are always physically tough,’ said Catlin.

‘Luckily, Dartford and Truro also lost so it hasn’t changed things a lot.

‘We were still trying to win at the end and at this stage of the season that is something I feel has to be done. We got caught doing that.’

Borough host Petersfield Town in a Portsmouth Senior Cup tie at Privett Park tonight (7.45pm).

Rams talent Ollie Bailey is believed to be on their wish list – when or if the transfer embargo is lifted.

Gosport Borough: Legg, Cuthbertson, Poate, Carter, Woodford, Pearce, Ryan (Wilde, 80min), Harding, Wooden, Bennett, Williams. Att: 338