Catlin: Home run key for Borough

Brett Poate celebrates after scoring a penalty for Gosport Borough. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14912-7)
Brett Poate celebrates after scoring a penalty for Gosport Borough. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14912-7)
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Mick Catlin is hoping Gosport Borough continue to enjoy home comforts as they bid to climb the Skrill South table.

The Privett Park outfit took another step towards survival with a 2-1 victory over Bishop’s Stortford on home soil on Saturday.

Brett Poate and Jason Prior – with his first for the club – netted the goals for Borough before the visitors hit back late on.

The triumph nudged Gosport up to 18th in the table – three points above the drop zone – to give boss Alex Pike a happy 54th birthday.

Now they embark on a run of four home matches in eight days.

And after more than 1,000 fans packed the terraces on Saturday, Catlin is hoping the feelgood factor at Privett Park will continue.

‘It was a bit tense in those last few minutes but overall we deserved to end up with the three points,’ said the assistant manager.

‘We always felt by rotating the squad sensibly we could take six points from the past nine and we planned accordingly.

‘It worked a treat, with wins over Tonbridge and Bishop’s Stortford helping to soften the blow of losing to a very good Ebbsfleet side, who were up for it and deserved their victory here in midweek.

‘Now we need to adopt a similar plan again.

‘We have four home matches in the next eight days and need to make sure we take enough points to continue our climb up the league table now we are out of the danger zone.

‘It did help having so many fans here, it really tuned the lads up for the fight.

‘Stortford made it difficult for us but we managed to hold our nerve when things got difficult, particularly when they pulled a goal with injury time looming. There are still plenty of points to play for.

‘We have 10 matches left, with seven of them at home, so it’s up to us to get on with it, win as many as we can and enjoy what’s left of a very eventful season.’

Lee Molyneaux powered a shot against an upright in the early skirmishes as Borough made their intentions clear.

And after Sam Pearce had seen his bullet header cleared off the line, Borough finally broke the deadlock on 38 minutes.

Justin Bennett was hauled down just inside the Stortford penalty area and Poate netted the spot-kick.

Despite Borough’s overall superiority, their fans had to wait until midway through the second half before Prior doubled the advantage.

The former AFC Wimbledon hitman raced clear of his marker to thump a shot low into the net.

By this time, however, the Hertfordshire-based outfit were down to 10 men after Ashley Miller, having been booked for a dive in Borough’s penalty area, was shown a second yellow card for dissent.

Substitute Tim Sills went close to increasing Borough’s lead – as did Bennett with a blistering long-range shot that crashed against the Stortford crossbar.

But with 10 minutes left, the visitors pulled a goal back as substitute Reece Prestedge beat Nathan Ashmore from close range.

Stortford sensed they could salvage a draw but, despite five minutes of stoppage-time, the closest they came was a Prestedge effort which flew high and wide.

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Forbes, Scott, Poate, Pearce, Carmichael, Smith, Prior, Bennett, Wooden. Subs: Woodward, Brown, Gosney, Wilde, Sills