Gosport must get on a run to launch charge for survival

Rory Williams could miss out on Saturday due to injury

Rory Williams could miss out on Saturday due to injury

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury

Early starts for Hawks and Moneys

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Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike insists his team need to stop the rot as they take on Staines Town in the Skrill South at Wheatsheaf Park (3pm).

Borough are nine points short of safety, with five games in hand on 19th-placed Whitehawk.

Since earning themselves a dream FA Trophy final place at Wembley, Gosport have failed to pick up any league points and are in danger of being cut adrift at the bottom.

Pike is fully aware his side cannot afford to let that happen.

‘Our league season starts this weekend as far as I am concerned,’ said the boss.

‘We have five games between now and Wembley and I am targeting 10 points.

‘Last weekend we couldn’t match Dover, who everyone knows are likely to finish a top-five side, and we have to box that one off.

‘We are faced with squeezing half a season into the next eight weeks.

‘And we have to make sure we don’t go into a downward spiral.

‘I have known most of my players for three or four years and know what they are capable of once they get on a run.

‘That has to be our aim and three points this weekend can spark that off.’

Pike is still troubled by injuries to a number of his key players.

Andy Forbes is out with a hamstring problem and Rory Williams limped off with a similar injury in the 3-2 Hampshire Senior Cup defeat by Basingstoke in midweek.

Williams will undergo some treatment in a bid to make the game.

Sammy Igoe also may return after injury.

However, defender Brett Poate starts a three-match ban for his sending off against the Hawks in the second leg of the Trophy semi-final.

With four games in the next seven days, Pike is also considering recalling striker Justin Bennett from his loan spell at Poole Town.

Bennett was sent to the Southern League club to try to regain his goal touch and, though chances have been limited due to the bad weather, he did hit a hat-trick on his debut.

An in-form Bennett could make a big difference for Borough as they need to start scoring more regularly.

Recent recruit Jason Prior is still at least a fortnight away from being fit to start.

‘It is important come the end of March we are still in contention and, better still, out of the bottom three,’ said Pike.

‘Hopefully, Justin will come back refreshed from his spell at Poole.

‘With so many games coming up in a short space of time, it is going to stretch our resources to the limit.

‘That is why we have such a large squad to help us cope with it.’

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Woodward, Poate, Scott, Richardson, Pearce, Carmichael, Smith, Brown, Gosney, Wilde, Williams, Wooden, Bennett

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