Pike picks his five from 500

Tim Sills celebrates scoring in the FA Trophy semi-final second-leg win against the Hawks Picture: Dave Haines
Tim Sills celebrates scoring in the FA Trophy semi-final second-leg win against the Hawks Picture: Dave Haines
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 admitted he had to be told he was approaching a major landmark in his reign at Gosport Borough.

The Privett Park boss takes charge of his 500th game for the club tonight as they host Winchester City in the Hampshire Senior Cup (7.45pm).

Pike took over as boss of the side back in 2005-06 and led them to the Wessex League title in his first full season.

That’s one of three promotions he has overseen, with Borough now just two divisions below the Football League.

And it’s no surprise those crucial matches feature heavily in Pike’s Borough top five.

‘I wasn’t aware of it until I was told,’ admitted Pike.

‘Normally, you only look back over your career when you pack up but it’s nice to have these milestones along the way where you can reflect.

‘My first managerial role was in 1989-90 with Wimborne but prior to that I did another 400-odd games in minor leagues. So I’m probably close to 2,000 games in total.

‘But it’s amazing to get to 500 games with my hometown club.’

To mark the special occasion, Pike has picked out his top-five memories for The News since taking over at Privett Park – and surprisingly, there’s no mention of last season’s trip to Wembley for the FA Trophy final.

Wessex League

AFC Totton 1-0 Gosport Borough 2006-07

It was the start of the journey and my first full season.

We had to go to Totton in the last game of the season in the Wessex League and we had to avoid defeat by two goals to win the league.

We ended up losing 1-0 but won the league on goal difference to get promoted.

I remember they scored in the 89th minute but there was no panic.

I had people in the side at the time you could trust – people like Dave Waterman and Michael White.

Southern League

south & west play-off

Poole Town 1-3 Gosport Borough (aet) 2011-12

We were 1-0 down and looking like it wasn’t going to happen for us.

But then Steve Claridge scored in stoppage-time.

Him and Justin Bennett scored two more in extra-time and it got us into the Southern Premier.

Steve was on the bench and I wanted to keep him for later in the game.

He came on at the right time and had the impact that I wanted.

They couldn’t handle him. He was a fantastic professional.

Southern League premier

Gosport Borough 1-0 St Neots

2012-13

We knew we had to win the last game of the season and were relying on Barwell not winning to get to the play-offs.

We did our bit and won 1-0, with Rory Williams scoring the goal on a dust bowl of a pitch.

But at the end of the game, it was the eeriest thing I’ve ever seen.

We had 500-odd fans there waiting for the result to come through from the other game.

It must have been five or six minutes.

But then we heard they had only drawn and I’d never seen a celebration like it.

Southern League

premier play-off

Hemel Hempstead

2-2 Gosport Borough

(Borough won 5-4 on pen) 2012-13

Luke King and Adam Wilde got us 2-0 up and everyone was assuming we had done it and were going up to the Conference South.

But they pegged us back and then we were just trying to hold out.

Then it came to penalties and you couldn’t have asked for a better person to take your last penalty than Sammy Igoe.

He was coolness personified.

The club and me will be indebted to Sammy forever for that.

FA Trophy semi-final (L2)

Gosport Borough 2-0 Hawks 2013-14

That is my best game – it was absolutely superb.

We had a lot of ex-Havant players in the side.

And there was huge local interest, so that would have to be number one.

It was a derby in front of a massive crowd and a place at Wembley was on offer.

Tim Sills got the goals but it’s a game that will go down in local folklore.

I will never forget it.