Pike: Keep the faith

17/8/13  sport''Gosport Borough V Dover Athletic F.C. Pictured is Gosport's Jamie Brown''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132298-4)
17/8/13 sport''Gosport Borough V Dover Athletic F.C. Pictured is Gosport's Jamie Brown''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132298-4)
Ryan Pennery netted for Moneyfields. Picture: Neil Marshall (171026-11)

Trophy dream is over for Moneys

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Alex Pike admitted his disappointment at Gosport Borough’s second consecutive Skrill South defeat but urged the players and fans to ‘keep the faith’.

The Privett Park outfit’s harsh baptism to life in the division continued with a 2-1 defeat at Basingstoke Town.

Two defensive errors in the opening 25 minutes condemned the league newcomers to a second defeat – after a 1-0 reverse at the hands of Dover on Saturday.

Although Borough pulled a goal back through Jamie Brown, they could not find an equaliser in a goalless second half.

Pike revealed his worries at both ends of the pitch – but backed his squad to turn the tide.

The manager said: ‘It’s disappointing to lose again but if we keep faith I believe we will soon turn the corner.

‘We made two silly mistakes and gifted them two goals. That cost us in the end.

‘This is all about confidence and we more than competed with Basingstoke.

‘The worrying thing for me is we have not kept a clean sheet again – and none of my strikers have yet hit the mark.’

Pike was forced into making a change to his starting line-up – with hamstring victim Brett Poate replaced by Ellis Martin.

But despite the loss of the influential figure, Borough made a bright start and should have been ahead after three minutes.

Paul Hinshelwood’s cross to the far post picked out the unmarked Mike Gosney, who sent his header the wrong side of the upright.

And the visitors were punished four minutes later when a mistake by Martin gifted Basingstoke the breakthrough.

His attempted clearance lobbed up inside his own area and Robbie Matthews reacted quickest to hit a volley past Nathan Ashmore from 10 yards.

On 25 minutes Borough committed defensive suicide again to fall further behind.

Lee Molyneaux gave the ball away and when Manny Williams played in Keze Ibe, the Borough defender hauled him back inside the area.

Williams tucked his spot-kick beyond the diving Ashmore and into the bottom corner.

Gosport replied quickly, though, and within three minutes Jamie Brown turned the ball in from a Justin Bennett knock-down inside the box.

Ashmore then pulled off a terrific full-length save to keep out a Simon Dunn shot which was heading just inside the post.

Borough began the second half in positive fashion and Brown fired straight at the keeper in the opening minutes.

Bennett’s excellent turn set up a shooting chance for Rory Williams – but his effort was beaten out by Wells.

There was no doubt the visitors were improving but in a quick counter-attack Adam Green rifled an effort narrowly over the top for the hosts.

Almost immediately Ashmore had to make a low save from Wes Daly as the home side looked to regain the ascendancy.

The keeper was at his best again on 70 minutes – turning a fierce Matthews drive behind for a corner.

Borough sent on Andrew Forbes and Tom Dunford for the final 15 minutes.

But while they kept plugging away, the cutting edge was missing.

Basingstoke: Wells, Rice, Green, Barrett, Gasson, Ray, Daly, Dunn, Matthews, Williams, Ibe. Subs: McAuley, Adams, Campbell, Jenkinson, Smart

Gosport: Ashmore, Hinshelwood, Martin, Brown, Molyneaux, Pearce, Igoe, Smith D, Williams R, Bennett, Gosney. Subs: Wooden, King, Dunford, Forbes, Barfoot