Alex Pike reckons his Gosport Borough side are finally beginning to believe they can preserve their Skrill South status after Jamie Brown’s moment of magic claimed a gritty 1-0 win at Weston-super-Mare.
While Borough remain second from bottom of the division, they have as many as four games in hand on some of their rivals and are now within four points of safety.
And with an unexpected win at a team in fifth place and chasing a spot in the play-offs, Pike feels his men can take extra confidence and climb away from danger.
The Borough boss said: ‘I have got faith that we will get ourselves out of trouble.
‘We are the ones who have put ourselves in this position and we are the ones who are going to get ourselves out of it.
‘The FA Trophy run has given us massive confidence.
‘But results like this will definitely help that as well.
‘We have shown we are capable of competing with the better teams in the division.
‘It wasn’t a pretty game but it was a great result for us.’
In a dreadful game – totally ruined by a strong wind that made it almost impossible to produce any kind of cohesive play – the best chance of a goal appeared to be from a set-piece or a mistake until the Borough skipper saw his opportunity early in the second half.
After finding space just outside the centre circle, Brown spotted the goalkeeper off his line and tried his luck at emulating David Beckham’s famous long-range goal against Wimbledon.
He then ran off with a mixture of surprise and delight as his wind-assisted shot sailed into the net before capping his celebrations with an exaggerated swallow dive in the mud. But much as his antics raised a smile, there was a serious side to Brown’s influence as he won numerous tackles and cajoled his team-mates with a powerful display.
He has been Borough’s best player by far this season and will need to be just as impressive in the second half of the campaign to give them a chance of beating the drop.
Pike said: ‘Jamie is worth his weight in gold for us.
‘The goalkeepers were playing as sweepers because of the conditions but it meant they were off their line and out of position at times.
‘It was a tactic we decided at half-time that we were going to use.
‘We felt we had the worst of the conditions in the first half and I was happy to come in at 0-0.
‘So in the second half, we had a shoot-on-sight policy and it paid off.
‘I thought it was a goal worthy of winning any game.’
Bermudian striker Jonte Smith made his debut as a substitute after arriving on loan from Crawley Town.
And Pike will add Hawks midfielder Steve Ramsey to the ranks this week.
But Justin Bennett has joined Poole Town on a month’s loan, while the Borough boss has ended his interest in bringing Pat Cox back to Privett Park.
Pike said: ‘I have knocked that one on the head.
‘It was typical Pat. We agreed a wage and then he demanded more money.
‘Once that happened, I ended my interest and told him to stay at Fleet.’
GOSPORT: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Richardson, Pearce, Poate, Igoe, D Smith, Brown, Gosney (Wooden, 86mins), Forbes (Williams, 90mins), Sills (J Smith, 71mins). Unused sub: Wilde