Borough banking on ‘bumper’ crowd

Ray Williams, right, made an instant impact on his return to Gosport Borough, scoring in the Privett Park's 3-0 win over Chesham last weekend
Ray Williams, right, made an instant impact on his return to Gosport Borough, scoring in the Privett Park's 3-0 win over Chesham last weekend
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Cash-strapped Gosport Borough are hoping for a bumper crowd as they bid to add further strength to their play-off push.

Alex Pike’s side host Weymouth tomorrow in the Southern League premier division buoyed by an impressive 14-match unbeaten run that has seen them climb to sixth in the table.

Another victory at Privett Park would help close the gap on fifth-placed Barwell and reinforce the belief that a second successive promotion could be on the cards.

It would also help boost the club’s coffers, with Borough running into some well-publicised cash-flow problems in recent weeks.

Skipper Brett Poate revealed during the week that the players were staying loyal to Borough – even though they have not been paid in recent weeks.

Chairman Mark Hook, meanwhile, described the situation as a mere ‘blip’ and insisted normal service would soon resume.

He said: ‘What I would like to see is a bumper crowd for our attractive local derby against Weymouth, which will certainly help.

‘I would urge the local Gosport community to come out and support us.

‘We are in our highest-ever position in the club’s history and they can help us thrive even more.’

Like his chairman, Borough boss Pike is determined to realise the club’s promotion ambitions and has brought in extra fire-power in the form of ex-Hungerford forward Pete Macklin and Rory Williams from GE Hamble.

Pike also hinted another forward could arrive at the club before the visit of Weymouth.

With leading goalscorer Justin Bennett away on honeymoon for a month, the manager believes it’s vital his team maintain a goal threat.

One-time Gosport player Williams made an instant return last week by scoring on his debut in the 3-0 win over Chesham.

‘Rory returned to us last week and had a great game,’ said Pike.

‘We didn’t want him to leave us two years ago but work commitments meant he couldn’t travel at our level.

‘That has now been sorted out and he is the local, young talented type of player I am looking to bring to the club.

‘He fits the bill perfectly because he can make an impact at this level and higher.

‘I am open about my ambition to take the club up in to Conference South.’

Weymouth will present Borough with a tough test as they, too, harbour play-off ambitions.

The two sides drew 3-3 in Dorset earlier in the season and Borough know their visitors can leapfrog them in the table with a win on away soil.

Borough are hoping that creative midfielder Sammy Igoe and defender Lee Molyneaux can shake off knocks.

Adam Wilde, meanwhile, is a big doubt with a hamstring problem.

‘To go 14 games unbeaten at any level is an achievement,’ said Pike.

‘What I am looking for now is to go another 15 between now and April which will see us in the play-offs.’

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, King, Molyneaux, Cook, Poate, Martin, Woodward, Wooden, Igoe, Smith, Dunford, Ford, Brown, Williams, Wilson, Macklin.