Ashley reckons Gosport troops can still be survivors

Chris Thompson on the attack for Gosport & Fareham against Dover. Picture: Malcolm Wells (13959-6723)

Chris Thompson on the attack for Gosport & Fareham against Dover. Picture: Malcolm Wells (13959-6723)

Tom Blackburn helps Havant to put the pressure on CS Rugby 1663 at Hooks Lane Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant get the job done in thriller

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Gosport & Fareham head coach Scott Ashley remains convinced his team can still pull off a great escape in London one south.

His side occupy the final relegation spot with two games left to play – the first of which is at third-placed Chichester tomorrow.

It promises to be a nail-biting final fortnight – with just one point separating them from Beckenham and a place in the division next term.

Both teams face a test of nerve, with Ashley backing his team to pull it out of the bag.

He said: ‘Chichester is a tough game but nothing is impossible.

‘When they played at our place we held them to seven points in a 33-24 defeat and got a bonus point out of it.

‘There’s nothing to say we can’t do that again.

‘We need to go there and show the same mentality and the physicality to match them.

‘When we went to league leaders East Grinstead we showed we can produce those qualities away from home.

‘To get even a point on Saturday could be critical and that really would put the pressure on Beckenham.’

Ashley and his Gosport team were frustrated by last week’s 8-8 home draw with Dover.

They had hoped to haul themselves out of the bottom three with a win.

But in the end Gosport were grateful to come away with a point, courtesy of the visiting kicker having an off day with the boot.

Ashley’s team were guilty of giving too many penalties away and will have to tighten up their discipline if they are to be competitive at Chichester.

The coach felt his team were maybe trying just that little bit too hard and need to relax.

Under the circumstances, though, that might be easier said than done.

Gosport may pin their hopes on the final game of the season – a home clash with Hove.

Meanwhile, Beckenham end the season with two tough away games at Dover and Sidcup.

‘Whatever happens, it looks like going to the wire,’ said Ashley.

‘We haven’t shown consistency this season and that’s what you need to do and scratch some results out.

‘There hasn’t been consistency in training and player availability, and that’s why we are where we are.

‘But you just have to get on with that situation.

‘My gut feeling and my head tell me we will stay up.

‘Sport is great and that’s why we love it, because nothing is certain.

‘This is going to go down to the last game of the season and we will have to wait to see what happens.

‘I think we have the slightly easier finish, so we must look to make the most of it.’

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