Borough boss disappointed as Dragons stand firm

Matt Paterson was shackled by the Basingstoke defence. Picture: Malcolm Wells (143599-8615C)
Matt Paterson was shackled by the Basingstoke defence. Picture: Malcolm Wells (143599-8615C)
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Alex Pike was left disappointed as Gosport Borough were held to a goalless draw by Basingstoke in Vanarama Conference South on Saturday.

The two sides met for the third time in a week at Privett Park.

And lessons learned from the previous encounters – a 2-2 draw at the Camrose and a 2-1 home triumph for Borough in midweek – saw the two sides cancel each other out.

While frustrated not to have bagged all three points, Pike acknowledged a share of the spoils was probably fair.

‘Any game at home you don’t win, you’re bound to be disappointed,’ said the boss.

‘I’m not going to moan about the tactics of the opposition manager.

‘Having played Basingstoke three times in a week, that affected the tactics.

‘They frustrated us and, at times, they parked the bus.

‘I tried to second guess their manager and Jason (Bristow) tried to second guess me.’

Three changes were made to the Gosport side, with AFC Bournemouth loanee Jonathan Muleba, Lee Wort and Dan Wooden all coming in, to replace Steve Ramsey, Adam Wilde and Danny Smith.

Of those changes, two made a big impact on proceedings at Privett Park.

Muleba turned in a strong showing on his debut and Wort caused problems in the Dragons’ defence.

‘Jonathan has come in on loan from Bournemouth and he had a solid debut,’ said Pike.

‘He never gave the ball away and, for an 18-year-old, he’s a great prospect.

‘I tried to counter their threat down the left by playing Wort on the wing.

‘When he came on in the replay, he did well and caused them problems, which he did again on Saturday.’

Brett Poate came closest to scoring for the home side – with a 30-yard free-kick that rattled the post.

But both Gosport and Basingstoke struggled to create any clear-cut chances.

Pike said: ‘Both sides gave the ball away unnecessarily and for a game of this standard, it was poor.

‘We never really had the ball up front to get Bennett and Paterson into the game.’

The point ensured Borough remained third in Vanarama Conference South, having conceded just 10 league goals.

In addition, the Privett Park side are in the second round of the FA Trophy and quarter-finals of the Hampshire Cup.

Pike is happy with the season so far but knows the second half of the season is where it really counts.

‘If someone said to me that we’d be third going into Christmas I wouldn’t have moaned,’ he said.

‘We’re in the last 32 of the Trophy and last eight of the Hampshire Cup.’

‘It’s been a good season so far but the second half of the season is more important.’