Lee Wort admits he can have no complaints at seeing his path to the Gosport Borough first team blocked but told Alex Pike: I’m ready when you need me.
The 23-year-old striker netted a double in the midweek Hampshire Senior Cup win over Winchester City but may have to settle for a place on the bench again as Borough host struggling Bishops Stortford in Vanarama Conference South tomorrow (3pm).
Justin Bennett and Matt Paterson were both rested in midweek but look set to resume the partnership that has delivered an impressive 45 goals between them in all competitions so far this term.
Bennett has 27 and Paterson has 18 but Wort, who has six to his name since joining from Sholing in the summer, is determined to grasp his opportunity when it comes.
Wort said: ‘They (Bennett and Paterson) have been on fire so I can’t complain.
‘If one of them goes a few games without scoring, then I might get a chance and then it’s up to me to keep my spot from there.
‘But you can’t take anything away from them because they have been brilliant.
‘It’s just up to me to take my opportunities when they come along and show what I can do coming off the bench.’
Wort scored more than 50 goals for Wessex League premier division side Sholing last term and led them to FA Vase glory at Wembley.
That earned him a summer trial at Accrington Stanley, and although that failed to offer him a route into the professional ranks, he was keen to play at a higher standard with Borough.
‘I was up there for two-and-a-half weeks. I’m glad I went there and it was a really good experience,’ said Wort.
‘We had a chat and they couldn’t offer me anything at the end of it.
‘I was straight on the phone to Alex telling him I wanted to give it a go at Gosport.
‘I wanted to come here and test myself at a higher level. I have scored most of my goals in cup games but I’m hoping to get past 10 for the season.’
Pike is battling a lengthy suspension list for tomorrow’s encounter, with Mike Carter, Lee Molyneaux, Dan Wooden and Sam Pearce all serving bans.
Carter will be missing until February 14 as he sits out six games, while skipper Pearce faces two games on the sidelines for 10 yellow cards.
But the Borough boss finally has new midfielder Andy Robinson available after his trial with Crawley and is chasing another defensive recruit.
Pike added: ‘We’ve got four players out and I think the chairman paid for four or five of them to go on a mid-season break – unfortunately I can’t go with them!
‘Andy Robinson comes into the squad and there is another centre-back I am in discussions with, who has a very good pedigree.’
Pike, meanwhile, declined to comment on rumours linking him with the vacant manager’s role at Aldershot Town after they sacked Andy Scott this week.
GOSPORT (from): Ashmore, Forbes, Poate, Matthews, Williams, Ramsey, Dunford, Robinson, Smith, Saez, Bennett, Paterson, Wilde, Benham, Wort, Muleba