Bennett still has Borough future

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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Justin Bennett has been told: You still have a future at Gosport Borough.

The striker has been allowed to join Poole Town on a month’s loan and will not feature in tonight’s Russell-Cotes quarter-final showdown with Christchurch (7.45pm).

The fixture was originally scheduled for Hurn Bridge but has now been switched to Privett Park in a bid to beat the ongoing weather problems.

Pike is hopeful a stint with Southern Premier outfit Town will get Bennett back on the scoring trail.

The Borough boss also insisted it is not the end of the line for a striker who is within just four goals of the club’s all-time goalscoring record.

‘I want to give him some games, get him scoring goals again and give him some confidence,’ said Pike.

‘Poole Town have got eight games in the month he is there and I want to make it clear that he is not going there to stay. It will not become a permanent deal.

‘He has got another year on his contract and Justin Bennett will be here.

‘He is too valuable to us but I need him scoring goals and playing with confidence.’

New striker Jonte Smith will not feature tonight as loan players are ineligible in the competition.

Gareth Barfoot is expected to be given an opportunity to take over in goal from Nathan Ashmore, while Jack Barton is also expected to be handed a recall, with skipper Jamie Brown likely to be rested.

Pike, meanwhile, expects to have Hawks midfielder Steve Ramsey’s loan signing completed after this weekend’s FA Trophy trip to North Ferriby.

The Borough boss said: ‘I know I need to bring in a central-midfield player because are short in that area.

‘We have agreed a deal with Hawks for Steve Ramsey but we couldn’t get it done before the 5pm deadline on Friday.

‘We knew he couldn’t play at Weston-Super-Mare, he can’t play in the Russell Cotes Cup and he is cup-tied for the North Ferriby game.

‘So we have agreed we will take him next week instead.

‘He should be a great addition for us because he’s a quality player.’