Gosport out to leapfrog promotion rivals

Gosport Borough defender Rory Williams, right    Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Gosport Borough defender Rory Williams, right Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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Gosport Borough will look to give their National League South promotion hopes a major boost by returning to winning form against Dartford at Privett Park tomorrow (3pm).

But assistant boss Mick Catlin has revealed the hosts may be forced into a reshuffle as they seek to leapfrog the team directly above them with a first victory in four league outings.

Rory is struggling a little bit and we are going to probably need a fitness test before the game

Gosport Borough assistant manager Mick Catlin

Visitors Dartford currently occcupy the fifth-and-final play-off spot – a point ahead of Borough, having played one more game than their opponents.

And that makes the untimely injury suffered by ‘defensive kingpin’ Rory Williams in the 2-0 loss at Bishop’s Stortford even more concerning for those in the Gosport camp.

Catlin, though, has not given up hopes of the left-back being available for tomorrow’s crucial clash, even if fellow defender Brett Poate is definitely ruled out with a calf injury.

‘Rory is struggling a little bit and we are going to probably need a fitness test before the game,’ said Catlin.

‘He pulled his quad against Bishop’s Stortford last weekend and it has been quite sore.

‘He hasn’t trained this week.

‘He had treatment last night and we will just continue to assess him from now until the game.

‘He is 50-50 for tomorrow.

‘Brett is going to be out for another week or so, so if Rory doesn’t make it that will be a big loss with the two of them out.

‘They have been kingpins of our back four really.’

The worries for the home side are not just limited to the defence, however, as midfielder Ben Harding also sustained a knock at Stortford, meaning he is another injury doubt for the visit of Dartford.

The good news for the home side is they have players who can fill the gaps.

Catlin said: ‘We have another worry as well, with Ben Harding picking up an injury.

‘He picked up a knock to the knee playing in midfield so we might have to have a bit of a reshuffle.

‘That could free up Andy Robinson to go back into the midfield.

‘Adam Brice could slot in at centre-half and Elliott Wheeler came on last week at right-back, with TJ Cuthbertson going to left-back to cover for Rory – so we also have that option again.’

Borough head into the clash having failed to win in their last three league games.

And while Catlin is not worried about recent results, he did express concern at the manner of their last two performances – the loss at Stortford and a 1-1 draw with Wealdstone.

He added: ‘It’s concerning that the last two games we haven’t really performed to our capabilities.

‘But then Dartford lost in midweek to Wealdstone 2-1 after being 1-0 up.

‘So they’re also going into the game on the back of some indifferent form.

‘It’s going to be a very tight game.

‘We beat them at their place earlier in the sesason 3-2.

‘They are a big physical side and it will be a stern test.

‘It’s the type of game you want to be involved in – we are both pushing for a play-off spot and both have a similar record, so it should be a good game.’