Pike frustrated after ‘gut-wrencher’

Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132298-13)
Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132298-13)
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Alex Pike pointed to a controversial winning goal as Gosport Borough went down to a 1-0 defeat at Farnborough to remain entrenched in Skrill South relegation trouble.

Dave Tarpey’s second-half clincher was the difference between the sides.

But Borough claimed the winger had used an arm in controlling a loose ball before he rifled home just past the hour mark.

Pike said: ‘Unless six or seven of my players deserve an Oscar, the referee has got it wrong.

‘It becomes a gut-wrencher that we lost to a goal like that.

‘I didn’t get a clear view of it but my players have told me it was the wrong decision. They said it was a blatant handball.

‘I think we definitely deserved something from the game.

‘It’s hard to swallow because we had chances.’

While it was goalless at the break, there were chances for both sides in a bright opening half.

The home side were the first to show as an attacking force as Dan Bennett went close with a fierce drive that flew past Nathan Ashmore’s top corner by a matter of inches.

Moments later Elvis Hammond – once of Fulham and Leicester – so nearly caught Ashmore out with an opportunist strike from 35 yards that just cleared the crossbar.

Borough then had the woodwork to thank as Alan Inns’ powerful header rattled the crossbar.

Gosport hit back and – after Tim Sills had kept Mike Gosney’s cross in at the far post – Tom Dunford’s drive looked goalbound, only for a Farnborough defender to make a last-ditch block. Sills himself should have done better soon afterwards as the home defence went missing at a set-piece.

But the striker’s touch let him down and allowed former Hawks keeper Kevin Scriven to smother the loose ball.

And Justin Bennett might have stolen the lead before the interval, only for his header to bounce agonisingly wide.

Farnborough began to get themselves on top early in the second half and they earned their rewards just beyond the hour mark as Tarpey broke the deadlock.

A free-kick was delivered into the box and, although Borough won the first header, it fell to the winger who buried his low shot as Gosport’s claims for handball fell on deaf ears.

While Pike’s side attempted to find a way back into the game, their attacking penetration from the first half dried up after the break until a late flurry.

Perhaps the closest they came was in the dying minutes as substitute Rory Williams was put through by Gosney.

But with the Farnborough keeper way off his line, the striker hesitated at the key moment when the chip looked the best bet and his shot eventually sailed way over.

And in the end there was to be no late rescue act for Gosport as they left empty-handed on their travels again.

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Ashmore, Woodward, Pearce, Richardson, Forbes, Dunford, Brown, Smith, Gosney, Bennett (Williams, 79mins), Sills (Wooden, 79mins). Unused subs: Barfoot, Molyneaux, Barton