Pike: We need to kill teams off

Gosport Borough captain Sam Pearce
Gosport Borough captain Sam Pearce
Baffins Milton Rovers found it tough against Portland. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Alex Pike is challenging his Gosport Borough side to take their chances in the FA Trophy first-round tie against Basingstoke Town at the Camrose Ground (3pm).

Borough face their Hampshire neighbours twice in seven days, with the two teams meeting in the Vanarama Conference South at Privett Park next weekend.

Both teams currently sit in the league table’s top seven, so there is likely to be little between them during the double-header.

Gosport lost their unbeaten away record at Whitehawk last weekend and are keen to get back to winning ways on their travels.

They produced a good reaction by bouncing back with a 1-0 home win over Hayes & Yeading on Tuesday night.

But in each of their past two games, Pike’s side saw chances go begging.

‘I can’t complain about my two strikers because they have scored 34 goals between them this season,’ said Pike.

‘In our last two games, though, we have lost a little bit of our sharpness in front of goal.

‘Our goals-scored ratio compared to chances-created ratio has not been good enough.

‘We could end up getting punished if we don’t take our chances.

‘Against Hayes & Yeading we should have scored three or four goals before half-time and killed the game off.

‘In the first half we had the elements behind us but we failed to make the most of it.

‘We didn’t and it meant we had a lot more defending to do in order to make sure of the three points.’

The Borough back four, along with goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore, were outstanding in the second half as they kept Hayes at bay.

Sam Pearce and Brett Poate didn’t miss a header all game in the heart of the defence, with Andy Forbes and Rory Williams secure on the flanks.

When Forbes was forced off with an injury, Lee Molyneaux went on and carried on where the former left off.

When the visitors did manage to put Borough under sustained pressure late on, hardworking midfielders Mike Carter and Danny Smith helped shut the away side out.

The important three points moved Borough back up to third in the league standings and restored confidence ahead of the Trophy derby.

In the last round, the Privett Park outfit cruised to a 4-0 win at Southern League Peacehaven & Telscombe.

They know it is unlikely to be quite so comfortable to progress this time around, though.

Borough boast the best defensive record in Conference South but that is sure to be put to the test by Basingstoke.

Captain Pearce and his troops will need to be at their most resilient if they are to progress.

‘It is a shame that we have been drawn against another team from our league,’ said Pike.

‘One of the joys of the Trophy is playing teams you don’t normally get to meet but it is what it is.’

Gosport Borough (from): Ashmore, Forbes, Williams, Carter, Poate, Pearce, Wooden, Smith, Paterson, Bennett, Wilde, Dunford, Molyneaux, Ramsey, Wort, Seaz-Ferre