Fighting spirit not in doubt at Gosport & Fareham

Gosport & Fareham face another daunting task as they make the trip to Kent to take on third-placed Tunbridge Wells in London one south tomorrow.

Friday, 2nd December 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:30 pm
Gosport & Fareham head coach Barry Bridgman. Picture: Neil Marshall (161436-4)
Gosport & Fareham head coach Barry Bridgman. Picture: Neil Marshall (161436-4)

Barry Bridgman’s side have lost all 11 games so far this season – conceding 513 points in the process.

Relegation seems almost certain for the Gosport Park outfit.

And head coach Bridgman accepts the rest of the season will prove a real test of character for his players.

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Injury and unavailability have made life difficult for the coach since he took over the reins in the summer.

Once again, he is forced to field a patched-up side against one of the top sides this weekend.

‘At one stage I could only get 16 players for this trip,’ said Bridgman.

‘We still have injuries and, although a couple of players are back, a couple more are unavailable.

‘It is a case of cobbling a team together.

‘But none of us are going to give up.

‘We will keep trying and aim to come back with a bonus point.

‘I have already had to blood a number of younger players so far.

‘And that is likely to continue for the rest of the season.

‘I have nothing but praise for the players who have put their names forward.

‘They never give less than 100 per cent and that has prevented us from being swamped at times.

‘It is not easy for the players but they have maintained their fighting spirit.

‘Our aim is to keep producing improved performances, regardless of whether we win or not.

‘It is a question of building for the future at whatever level we are playing at.’

Hope of giving themselves some sort of lifeline disappeared with the 46-18 defeat at fellow strugglers Dover last weekend.

With a patched-up side, Gosport & Fareham led 18-15 at the break after scoring three good tries.

In the second half, however, the heavy home pack made the most of playing down the slope to overhaul the visitors and pull away.

‘The first half was very, very pleasing,’ added Bridgman.

‘But I thought we spoilt it by conceding a soft try at the end.

‘Unfortunately, playing against the huge Dover pack took its toll in the second half and we tired.

‘It is still a positive, though, to see some inexperienced players coming in and playing well.’