GOSPORT BOROUGH can take another step forward by building on solid foundations as they prepare to host in-form Chelmsford City tomorrow (3pm).
The visitors are second in the Vanarama National League South and unbeaten in their last eight games.
They are a big strong well-organised unit and will present Borough with a real test of character and resolve.
Apart from one blip, against Bishop’s Stortford, however, the Privett Park side have produced their best performances in front of their own fans.
Manager Alex Pike, who has been linked with the job at AFC Totton, will demand a repeat of the work-rate and skill that saw them see off title favourites Ebbsfleet United 1-0 earlier this season.
Defensively Borough will need to be at their best to stop Shamir Mullings and Shaun Jeffers, who have already notched 14 league goals between them.
Experienced defender Brett Poate is convinced Borough will be up to it.
‘Every game in this league is tough and if you don’t approach it the right way you get beaten,’ said Poate.
‘I thought we defended really well at St Albans and were unlucky to lose to a stoppage-time goal.
‘We certainly didn’t deserve to lose with the last kick of the game.
‘The feeling is it was a step in the right direction.
‘If we defend like that again this week then we will give ourselves half a chance.
‘We had seven new players arrive during the summer and it is taking a bit of time for the side to gel.
‘All the players we signed are quality but we have not clicked as a team yet.
‘We are still in the process of rebuilding.’
Against St Albans Poate scored the Borough goal with a header but felt it counted for nothing in the end because they lost.
He knows the players have to put those frustrations behind them and focus on the positives from some of their stronger performances.
‘Defensively we have looked very solid at home,’ said Poate.
‘It is a complete turnaround from last season when we were good away but poor at home.
‘We showed by beating Ebbsfleet that we are more than capable of beating the top sides.
‘That win should give us the confidence we need to take on and beat Chelmsford.
‘At home we feel we are capable of beating anyone.’
Chelmsford is the first of two consecutive home games for Borough.
With Wealdstone next up at Privett Park the following Saturday Borough are hoping for a maximum points haul to lift them up the league.
Borough are seven points off the play-off positions and 10 points above the drop-zone.
GOSPORT BOROUGH: Rice, Cuthbertson, Bird, Dawson, Poate, Oastler, Carmichael, Harding, Bentley, Wright, Wooden, Wilde, Bailey, Carter, Pearce, Barron