Borough boss pleased as brilliant Bennett profits from true grit

Alex Pike praised Gosport Borough for a gritty performance as they came from behind to beat Maidenhead United 2-1 in National League South at Privett Park.

Monday, 8th February 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 6:10 am
Rory Williams played a key role in Borough's victory - both in defence and attack. Picture: Allan Hutchings (160142-350)

In horrendous conditions, two second-half goals from Justin Bennett earned the play-off chasing side three more important points.

A powerful gusting wind and torrential rain made life distinctly uncomfortable for both teams.

Borough boss Pike said: ‘I thought we showed the grit and determination necessary in the circumstances.

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‘The weather conditions played a major part – as did the bumpy pitch.

‘We knew if we put in a good shift we possessed the technical ability to get something out of the game.

‘That proved to be the case. The win keeps us in fourth place and like any team that wants to stay up there challenging we have to keep our winning run going.’

Borough deliberately chose to play against the elements in the first half after winning the toss.

Goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore made several good saves but was finally beaten seven minutes before the interval.

The ball was played in to Harry Pritchard who sent a wind-assisted curling effort from out wide screaming past Ashmore.

‘It was disappointing to go in at half-time a goal down,’ said Pike.

‘We failed to close the square ball down and it was our one defensive lapse of the first half. Apart from that we defended very well.

‘When we went out at the start of the second period we know it would all rest on how well we used the elements.’

Borough started well and quickly began to create chances.

Once again it was the league’s leading goalscorer Bennett who made the difference.

The striker scored twice in three minutes to turn the game in Borough’s favour.

‘It was his 255th goal in 401 appearances for us which is not a bad strike rate,’ said Pike.

‘He is always a focal point in the team and we can rely on him to score goals just when we need them.’

On 72 minutes, Rory Williams delivered a perfect cross for Bennett to head home the leveller.

And three minutes later he found space to break clear and neatly tuck a shot in at the near post.

In a hectic finale, Williams got back to make a crucial tackle on Dave Tarpey to ensure Borough ended with maximum points.

‘We have regained some momentum in our last two games,’ said Pike.

‘I would like to see us eradicate one or two mistakes we are making which have prevented us from keeping a clean sheet.

‘All we can do is keep winning and see where it takes us.’

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Cuthbertson, Williams, Carter, Poate, Woodford, Barker, Robinson, Wort, Bennett, Wooden. Subs: Wilde, Harding, Brice, Jerrard, May. Att: 354