Pike critical of Concord ‘goading’

Theo Lewis scored for the Hawks in the 38th minute at Wealdstone. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Good show on the road as Hawks impress to beat Wealdstone

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Alex Pike was unhappy with Concord Rangers’ exuberant post-match celebrations after seeing Gosport Borough’s climb to survival take a setback.

The Borough boss has overseen an impressive run of results in recent weeks with three wins out of their past five games since Wembley, which has lifted them out of the Skrill South drop zone.

But despite Josh Carmichael’s fine free-kick on the stroke of half-time putting Borough 1-0 up at the interval, Concord bossed the second half.

After Lewis Taafe fired home the equaliser with 15 minutes remaining, substitute Tony Stokes volleyed home the winner two minutes from time.

But while Pike felt Concord had been the better team and deserved their win, he was unhappy that he was then put in a position to calm his own players from the opposition’s goading from their changing room.

Pike said: ‘I’m not making any excuses – I felt they were the better side in the second half.

‘They had a lot determination and it was wave after wave of attack, while we didn’t create anything at the other end to relieve the pressure.

‘But their celebrations were hard to take.

‘I thought it was disrespectful. They were screaming and shouting in their changing room and singing stupid songs about Wembley.

‘The way they were goading us could have caused a nasty confrontation.

‘I had to try to calm people down so that it didn’t get out of hand and I don’t think that’s acceptable.

‘But I don’t know where that reaction came from.

‘My players certainly didn’t react like that when we beat them in the FA Trophy and then beat them away.

‘I just thought it was all a bit over the top.

‘Most people know I’m not a very good loser.

‘But over the years I’ve learned to lose with dignity and I’ve learned to win with dignity. You have to treat them exactly the same.

‘My chairman protested to their senior committee man and he actually condoned their behaviour.

‘If my players had reacted that way, I would have fully expected my chairman to take me aside to have a word with the players.

‘There is no need for it in football. The sportsmanship has to be there.

‘My players won’t forget that reaction and hopefully we will play them at least twice next season.’

As well as their own defeat, it was a mixed day for Borough with some of their rivals to avoid the drop also picking up points.

While bottom club Dorchester look doomed after defeat to Hayes & Yeading, Tonbridge Angels picked up a win, as did Maidenhead, although Chelmsford and Whitehawk both lost.

The results left Borough in 17th place on 39 points.

They are just one point above the relegation zone ahead of tomorrow night’s home clash with Hayes & Yeading.

Pike said: ‘If you look at the bottom of the table, every point is valuable.

‘At 1-0 up, if we didn’t win the match, I would have expected us to get at least something out of the game.

‘But we’ve put ourselves back in the relegation mire and we need to get ourselves out of it again.’