Borough keen to end frustrating week on a high

Alex Pike insists Gosport Borough can put a frustrating week behind them by beating Margate tomorrow in National League South at the Aerial Direct Stadium (3pm).

Friday, 23rd September 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:35 pm
Gosport Borough defender Brett Poate, right Picture: Mick Young

The week began with a surprise 3-2 FA Cup exit at Southern League Weymouth.

Three days later, Borough found themselves making a wasted trip to Eversley and California when the home side called the tie off because of a waterlogged pitch.

By the time Borough heard the news, a number of players had travelled a long distance and taken time off work to play.

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And having adjudged the pitch themselves to be perfectly playable, the visitors promptly reported the hosts to Hampshire FA.

All in all, it hasn’t been a great seven days for Borough but Pike wants to see them finish it on a high by picking up three league points.

‘The last week hasn’t been the best but a win will help put it in the locker and then we can forget about it,’ said Pike.

‘The FA Cup defeat was a blow and I won’t deny that I was very disappointed by it.

‘It is times like this when going through a blip that a manager earns his corn.

‘I have to work out what is going wrong and come up with a way of solving it.

‘We are not a million miles away but importantly have to stop conceding so many goals.

‘I have always built my teams around being resilient but in our last five games we have been pathetic in that area.

‘It is not just the goalkeeper and defenders but the team as a whole who have to take responsibility.

‘Our challenge is to stop the opposition from exploiting the holes in the defence.

‘The players know what is expected of them for this game.’

Borough hope to have experienced defender Brett Poate back from a calf injury.

The news is not so good on striker Chris Flood who is expected to be out for another four to six weeks with a knee problem.

Apart from the defeat by Bishops Stortford, Borough have reserved their best form for home games.

They were good value for their 1-0 success over title favourites Ebbsfleet.

In that game they showed great resilience and a potent threat up front.

Pike will be looking for his team to return to that level of performance against Margate.

He said: ‘Our players need to lift themselves for this game.

‘It is important that we get a foothold early on and prove ourselves better as a defensive unit.’

Pike was extremely unhappy that his team didn’t get a chance to put things right in midweek.

‘What happened at Eversely and California was diabolical and unprofessional,’he added.

‘You might be able to get away with it at step six but not at the level we play at.’

Gosport Borough: Rice, Dawson, Bird, Carmichael, Oastler, Poate, Pearce, Carter, Wilde, Harding, Bentley, Wooden, Barron, Wright, Bailey, Lanahan, Brice, Cunliffe.