Football manager on the mend after collapse at Gosport Borough match

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GOSPORT Borough FC boss Alex Pike hopes to return to the touchline this weekend after dramatically collapsing during a match.

He is recovering at home after being taken ill during his side’s thrilling win over Wimborne Town.

He collapsed in his technical area with 11 minutes to go of the clash at Privett Park on Monday night.

At the time. Gosport were heading to a 5-3 win over their Evostik League Southern rivals.

He was treated by assistant manager Mick Catlin and Gosport’s physio team Claire and Simon Bennett as an ambulance made its way to the ground.

Mr Pike was conscious as paramedics arrived and was told he was well enough to go home after receiving treatment. He is expected to return to the dugout for Saturday’s home fixture against Halesowen Town.

Assistant boss Mr Catlin, who witnessed the incident, said Mr Pike complained of being unwell before the match. He told The News: ‘It was a worrying time. The game was going along nicely with no real dramas, but then there was a refereeing decision for a free kick and I saw Alex collapse forward in the corner of my eye. He hit the ground face first and I thought “what’s going on?”.’

Mr Catlin said an empty stomach and rushed pre-game preparations could be to blame for Mr Pike fainting.

‘He hadn’t eaten all day and we were a bit stressed trying to get the players to the ground, which may have comtributed to the stress of it all,’ added Mr Catlin.

‘Roadworks on the A32 led to traffic being diverted and there was an accident on the M27, which meant a usually relaxed build up was a rushed one.

‘Everyone was in shock but he’s a confident, bubbly character and will definitely bounce back from this. It won’t stop him returning.’

Mr Pike took over the reins of Gosport Borough in December 2005 and his team currently occupy tenth place in the league. He guided Wimborne Town, Gosport’s opponents on the night, to FA Vase glory in 1992.

Mr Catlin added: ‘It would have been easy for the players to be distracted by what happened but they kept focused and that’s what Alex would want.’