Borough’s play-off hopes on road to ruin

Gosport keeper Mark Brown is a doubt for this weekend
Gosport keeper Mark Brown is a doubt for this weekend
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Gosport Borough manager Alex Pike has written off his side’s play-off chances, blaming their woeful away record ahead of their trip to Almondsbury Town (3pm).

Of their 12 defeats suffered in the league this season, 11 of them have been on the road, scuppering Borough’s play-off ambitions.

‘I told the players after our defeat at Hungerford in the week that we can forget about the play-offs,’ said Pike.

‘We have lost only once at home all season but away from home we have been woeful.

‘There have been so many false dawns but the team have not performed when it mattered.

‘Even if we could have replicated just 50 per cent of our home form on our travels we would now be firmly cemented in the play-offs.

‘It is hugely frustrating because when we got this squad together we believed it was good enough to win the title, let alone make the play-offs.

‘We all need to take a good look at ourselves because it hasn’t happened.

‘The players, however, have not produced the goods.

‘When I look at the teams above us there is no-one exceptional and we should have been up there competing with them.

‘Myself and (assistant manager) Mick Catlin are experienced guys and have tried everything from changing the system and the personnel without success.

‘The only thing we haven’t done is put Privett Park on a low-loader and towed it around with us.’

The 3-0 defeat to Hungerford on Tuesday night proved another typical away performance from Borough.

Two early defensive errors left them chasing the game, and when they did get a lifeline midway through the second half in the shape of a penalty, they squandered it.

Although Pike believes promotion is beyond Borough, he is insisting his team go into their final seven games determined to win them all, starting at Almondsbury tomorrow.

Gosport have injury worries, with goalkeeper Mark Brown, Alex Ward and Dean Arnold all receiving treatment.

Pike’s men are only five points adrift of fifth-placed Hungerford but, tellingly, they have played three more games, with tomorrow’s hosts Almondsbury one place and three points ahead of Borough.

Gosport Borough: Brown, Hards, Arnold, Cox, Ward, Cook, Castle, Birmingham, Wooden, Ford, Jones, Woodward, Bennett, Sewell, Taylor, Heather, Smith, Lynch.