Pike expects Gosport to rule at Princes Park

Gosport Borough striker Warren Bentley has scored five goals in his past two games for the club Picture: Mick Young
Gosport Borough striker Warren Bentley has scored five goals in his past two games for the club Picture: Mick Young
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Alex Pike is confident Gosport Borough can pick up their first points on the road tonight at Dartford in the Vanarama National League South (7.45pm).

After kick-starting their season with two successive home wins, Borough are keen to maintain their momentum at Princes Park.

Pike also sees it as an opportunity to put their opening-day woes at Maidenhead United behind them.

Gosport were well beaten 3-0 in their first away game of the campaign but Pike feels lessons have been learnt.

Since then the manager has changed the system, bringing Sam Pearce into the back four and moving captain Joe Oastler up into a defensive-midfield role.

That has worked well in the past two games.

‘The challenge now is to get our first away points on the board,’ said Pike.

‘Moving Joe Oastler in front of the back four has made us look a lot more secure.

‘Not only can he defend he also has a range of passing which enables him to hit our willing runners up front.

‘It is a good combination and weapon to have.

‘Hopefully, this will stand us in good stead at Dartford.

‘Our midfield is looking quite formidable and I reckon Mike Carter is the best in his position in our league.

‘We know how hard it is going up there in midweek but I know that the players will be fully up for it.

‘We go out to try and win every game.’

With striker Warren Bentley also finding a rich early vein of goalscoring form, the visitors feel they possess the fire-power to hurt opponents.

Bentley has fired five goals in his past two games, including a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Eastbourne Borough.

He has made the step up from Southern League football with Winchester City look easy.

‘People said it was a bit of a punt when I signed him, and maybe it was,’ added Pike.

‘The lad has fit in really well with us, and I believe he will score goals at all levels.

‘His finishing in the last two games has been clinical.

‘If defenders make a mistake he has shown that he will punish them.

‘In recent years our success at Borough has been based on having a goalscorer at the top of the goal charts.

‘Previously, it was Justin Bennett but now, hopefully, we have uncovered another one in Warren.

‘He looks a constant threat.

‘We still have our top goalscorer Ben Wright to come back after injury, so we look like having goals all over the park.

‘Potentially, we have three strikers all capable of scoring twenty plus goals a season.

‘That can’t be bad.’

Pike expects to have influential midfielder Aaron Dawson fit after he came off injured in the second half against Eastbourne at the weekend.

Gosport Borough: Rice, Cuthbertson, Bird, Carter, Poate, Pearce, Dawson, Harding, Flood, Bentley, Oastler, Lanahan, Wright, Wilde, Bailey, Bufton