Pike wants players to take Bridge leap of faith

Dan Woodward is a doubt for Gosport after 'popping' his shoulder

Dan Woodward is a doubt for Gosport after 'popping' his shoulder

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Gosport Borough face a titanic encounter against second-placed Stourbridge as they look to maintain their push for the Southern League play-offs at Privett Park (3pm).

Borough’s hopes were badly dented by three consecutive defeats recently but Alex Pike’s side returned to winning ways against Bedford in midweek.

The storming 4-0 victory put sixth-placed Borough right back in contention, closing the gap on fifth-placed Barwell to a point with four games left to play.

It was a win that pleased Pike, who has challenged his players to win their remaining matches this term.

‘We have to win all our last four games and look for others to do us a favour,’ said the manager.

‘There are still a lot of twists and turns to come – this game is so unpredictable.

‘Who would have thought after going 23 games unbeaten we would lose three on the bounce?

‘Then all of a sudden we go and demolish a side breathing down our necks.

‘We moved the ball around well and were clinical in front of goal.

‘It was a vital win for us and couldn’t have come at a better time.’

Stourbridge will present Borough with another huge test of nerve and Pike rates them as the best side he has come across in the league all season.

The points were shared in the West Midlands earlier in the season when the home side had a player sent off after only 15 minutes.

‘You wouldn’t have known they (Stourbridge) were a man short because they were well organised and moved the ball well,’ said Pike.

‘They showed they could tackle the physical nature of this league.

‘This is a must-win game for us and we will need to be at our best.’

Borough have shown all season they are capable of beating the top sides in the division.

Because of this, they can go into the game with nothing to fear if they play to their full potential.

The success of the home side has seen the crowds come flocking back to Privett Park.

Attendances have averaged around the 600 mark – as fans anticipate a play-off push.

Pike believes another big crowd can play a big part in Borough achieving their ambitions.

‘It makes a huge difference to the players having a vociferous crowd getting behind them’ he said.

‘My team is more than capable of pulling it off and they are probably the best I have ever managed, both on and off the pitch.

‘I have believed in them from day one and that hasn’t waned – even when we made a poor start to the season.’

Dan Wooden took a painful knock to the knee on Tuesday night and, although it swelled up, he is expected to recover in time to face Stourbridge.

Dan Woodward also ‘popped’ a shoulder but, again, Pike believes he will be fit to play.

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