Borough boss sees troubles mount on painful night

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Alex Pike’s injury problems continued to mount as Gosport Borough crashed to a 3-1 defeat to Dartford at Privett Park last night.

The home side suffered a second-half collapse against their fellow play-off chasers after Dan Wooden had fired them in front.

A brace from Darts captain Elliott Bradbrook and another from Andy Pugh ensured the points went home with the Kent club.

But equally concerning was the sight of both Lee Wort and Rory Williams limping off, with TJ Cuthbertson and Brett Poate already sidelined.

Furthermore, Mike Carter is suspended for the visit of Oxford City on Saturday – leaving Pike scratching his head as he bids to get back on track against Justin Merrett’s team.

Luke King went straight into the starting line-up after his recall from a loan at Fleet.

Otherwise the Gosport team was unchanged from Saturday’s goalless draw at Concord Rangers.

Dartford looked lively from the off and Pugh forced two stops from Nathan Ashmore.

Borough then landed the first blow when Wooden, celebrating his 300th appearance, hit a shot which took a deflection before nestling in the goal.

There was little action in the remainder of the first half, with George Barker coming closest to adding to the scoreline.

Gosport made a change at the break – bringing on Ben Harding.

Meanwhile, Darts boss Tony Burman had made no secret of his displeasure with his team’s first-half offering and challenged them to improve in the second half.

They duly obliged.

Danny Harris set about that task with a great run and shot that was blocked.

Soon afterwards he saw a rising effort from a tight angle just clear the bar.

Adam Wilde replaced Williams five minutes later.

But the momentum had shifted Dartford’s way with Borough unsettled by the changes.

The visitors began banging on the door and an equaliser arrived just after the hour as Bradbrook bundled home in a goalmouth scramble.

And after Ronnie Vint’s ferocious effort struck Ryan Woodford in the face, the visitors took the lead.

Dartford counter-attacked with Bradbrook storming down the pitch unchallenged before rounding Ashmore to slot home.

The visitors then wrapped up the game with 10 minutes to play when Pugh slotted home from a tight angle.

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Ashmore, King, Williams (Wilde, 50min), Carter, Woodford, Pearce, Barker, Robinson, Wort (Harding, 46min) Bennett & Wooden. Subs not used: Jerrard, May, Brice. Att: 389