Borough striker back with a bang

Justin Bennett. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132559-381)

Justin Bennett. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132559-381)

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Justin Bennett proved his class in front of goal with a brace to earn Gosport Borough a vital 2-1 win at Skrill South relegation-rivals Maidenhead United.

Privett Park boss Alex Pike recalled the striker from a loan spell at Poole Town this week.

And Bennett responded in style, netting two second-half strikes to eclipse Adrian Clifton’s opener for the Magpies.

The win lifted Borough to 20th in the table ahead of the visit of Boreham Wood tomorrow.

Bennett, meanwhile, is now within two goals of becoming the club’s highest-ever scorer.

Pike was delighted by the striker’s comeback but is not convinced he can claim it was a managerial masterstroke.

‘It is either good or lucky management on my part to bring him back,’ he said.

‘I have said all along Justin is good enough to score goals at this level.

‘When we sent him away on loan he didn’t look like he could do it.

‘But his seven goals in six games for Poole looks like it’s restored his confidence.

‘For his first goal he got across his defender to head in a terrific Dan Wooden cross.

‘His second arrived with a shot into the top corner from 18 yards.

‘The loan system has definitely worked for us on this occasion.’

Borough are well on the way to their manager’s target of 10 points before the FA Trophy final on Sunday, March 23.

Pike reckons the win over the Magpies proved his squad believe they can escape the clutches of relegation.

And the added incentive of a Wembley appearance will keep them fired up.

‘I set my players a target of picking up 10 points from five games before Wembley. So far we have picked up seven from a possible nine, so we are on track.

‘There is an inner belief in our squad we are good enough to survive.

‘It is important to keep our momentum up.

‘All the players know as Wembley approaches they are all playing for their places.

‘We have a large squad and they all want to be in the team on our big day.’

Clifton nipped in at the near post to stab a cross from Reece Tison-Lascaris past Nathan Ashmore and give the hosts the lead.

Rory Williams hit Borough’s best chance of the first half narrowly over the bar.

Meanwhile at the other end, Tison-Lascaris attempted to round Ashmore but the keeper got a hand to the ball to foil the Maidenhead forward.

Gosport levelled on 58 minutes when Bennett headed a Dan Wooden cross past Magpies keeper Elvijs Putnins.

The game could have gone either way but with just two minutes left it was Bennett who had the final say.

He picked up the ball on the right-hand edge of the box and made a bit of space before firing it across Putnins and into the net.

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