Bennett back Justin time for Borough

Ollie Pearce scored for Bognor in their match today. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Bognor get first win in six months

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Justin Bennett has been recalled from his loan spell in a bid to fire Gosport Borough to safety.

The striker found himself down the pecking order recently and was allowed out on loan to Poole Town in the Southern League premier division to restore his confidence.

But Borough boss Alex Pike has activated a 24-hour recall clause and looks set to throw him straight into tonight’s crucial trip to Maidenhead in Skrill South (7.45pm).

And Pike believes the loan spell has done his striker the world of good.

The manager said: ‘With so many games coming up, we have decided to recall Justin.

‘He has scored seven goals in six games with Poole, he is full of confidence and I think he wants to prove a point.

‘A hungry striker is a big asset and an in-form Justin Bennett is a massive asset.

‘He is the best natural finisher I have worked with.

‘We’ve seen Rory Williams score a hat-trick at Staines at the weekend and if he can do it at this level, I’m certain Justin can.

‘He has come back leaner, fitter and although he hasn’t played quite as many games as we would have liked, he has got some matches under his belt and scored goals.’

Borough’s struggle for goals has been well-documented this season but Pike admits the extent took him by surprise.

He said: ‘I was looking at the league table the other day and our goals for tally is the worst in the division.

‘But we are the sixth best in terms of goals conceded.

‘That tells a story and although I knew we’d had a few problems scoring goals, I didn’t realise it was quite that bad.

‘This level of football is about strikers adjusting. They are playing against better defenders who are quicker and stronger. It takes time.

‘Hopefully, we are getting some of our strikers into a bit of form at a vital time of the season.’

Pike, meanwhile, is eager for his side to stay on course for the points target he set having gained four from their past two games.

The Borough boss said: ‘Before the Staines game I told the players I wanted 10 points out of the next 15.

‘After a win at Staines and a draw with Hawks, we’re on target.

‘It would be huge if we can win this one going into Boreham Wood on Saturday.

‘It’s a tough run and I have to manage the players in a different way because of the fixtures that have been imposed on us by playing Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

‘You have to protect players and I have to consider that when I pick the side and try to keep players fresh.’

Brett Poate and Jamie Brown are both still suspended but defender Ian Richardson returns.