Town escape but Borough boss remains upbeat

Gosport's Justin Bennett. Picture: Paul Jacobs (133298-10)
Gosport's Justin Bennett. Picture: Paul Jacobs (133298-10)
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Alex Pike has called for a repeat performance from his Gosport Borough troops as they gear up for an FA Trophy replay at Nuneaton Town.

The Privett Park outfit dominated their high-flying Skrill South opponents on home turf on Saturday.

But despite carving out a number of good chances – and laying seige to the Town goal at the death – they could not find a way through and had to settle for a goalless draw.

Borough will now head to Nuneaton tomorrow night, determined to finish the job and earn a spot in the last 16 of the competition.

And Pike reckons if they can deliver another powerful performance, they have a great chance of progressing.

‘We have just outplayed a team pushing for promotion to the Football League and were unlucky not to have beaten them,’ said the boss.

‘Defensively we were strong enough to restrict them to one real chance.

‘The only disappointment is that we didn’t take at least one of four or five we created.

‘The second half was so one-sided in our favour, we just didn’t finish them off.

‘It would have only taken one goal to do so as they were hanging on desperately in the final 15 minutes.’

Pike is confident of a clean bill of health from his troops as they prepare for the quick-fire rematch.

He is also boosted by the return of Jamie Brown from a ban.

‘Fortunately, all the lads have come through the match okay,’ added the boss.

‘And we will have Jamie Brown back after a one-match suspension, so all we need to do is to go up there and show what we are made of.’

The goalless draw flattered the Skrill Premier outfit, who are currently among the favourites for promotion to the Football League.

But for long periods it was Borough who took centre stage with a renewed confidence on the back of a three-match unbeaten run.

Andy Forbes rifled an early chance just over before Justin Bennett was denied by the impressive Nuneaton keeper Kelle Roos.

Roos’ efforts were immense and the sole reason Borough face a long away trip tomorrow night.

All too often the keeper bailed his colleagues out with quality saves – one in particular from Bennett late on that was racing towards the top corner of his net until he somehow managed to fingertip it behind.

And just before the final whistle, Roos again produced the goods to keep out a fierce cross-shot from Rory Williams, who had replaced the impressive Bennett.

Even then, though, there was time left for Borough to have spared themselves a replay at Nuneaton’s Sperrin Brewery Stadium.

But the usually reliable left foot of Dan Wooden let him down – the forward rolling his effort wide after dancing clear.

Nuneaton’s one real chance came midway through the first half, Wesley York breaking free only to rattle the bar with his neat finish.

Everything else they tried was from long range and raced high and wide or was easily dealt with by the safe hands of Borough keeper Nathan Ashmore.

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Forbes, Woodward, Poate, Pearce, Dunford, Smith, Sills, Bennett, Gosney. Subs: Wooden, Williams, Igoe, Wilde, Barfoot

Nuneaton Town: Roos, Armson, Streete, Gordon, Dean, Walker, Sleath, Trainer, Hibbert, Moult, York. Subs: Adams, Ladapo, Taylor, Belshaw