Borough can come back from the dead

Justin Bennett signed a new two-year deal this week. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150393-4)
Justin Bennett signed a new two-year deal this week. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150393-4)
Ollie Pearce scored for Bognor in their match today. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Bognor get first win in six months

  • Gosport need to earn another away win in play-off quest
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ALEX PIKE admits Gosport Borough’s play-off push could come back from the dead at Maidenhead tomorrow (3pm).

The Privett Park boss wrote off his side’s promotion hopes in the wake of their recent 3-0 loss at Wealdstone – a third straight defeat that saw them slip out of the top five.

But last weekend’s 1-0 win at Sutton United in Vanarama Conference South suggested his players have certainly not thrown in the towel – even if he is yet to be convinced that his team are capable of sustaining their challenge.

Pike said: ‘Nothing has changed my mind yet. I don’t think we are good enough.

‘When you lose three games to Eastbourne, Chelmsford and Wealdstone, that is not good enough for a team wanting to get promotion.

‘It wasn’t a little blip, it was a massive blip.

‘We did well at Sutton and they are a far better team than the three we lost to and that is an annoying factor.

‘So you wonder why we couldn’t do that against Eastbourne, Chelmsford or Wealdstone.

‘But if we win this weekend, there might be some life in the patient.’

It looks like it is down to eight teams battling for one automatic promotion spot and the four play-off berths, with Borough now in fifth place on goal difference from Whitehawk.

If we win this weekend, there might be some life in the patient

Alex Pike

But Pike believes discussions over becoming a full-time club if they gain promotion, may have played a part in their stuttering form.

He said: ‘I think the talk about us possibly going full-time might have backfired and hurt us.

‘There might be players thinking “I can’t go full-time and I’m better off playing at this standard”.

‘It’s a bigger step going from a regional league to a national league and a lot of players would not be able to do the travelling or keep their other jobs.

‘Maybe subconsciously a few might think they are better off staying at this level, I don’t know.

‘I’ve spoken to a few of them about it and one or two have admitted they would not be able to do the travelling required at the next level. But they also said they want to win every game they play, so we will see what happens.’

Borough are without the suspended Rory Williams for the next two games after his red card against Chelmsford but Matt Paterson may return after his groin problem.

Regular strike partner Justin Bennett signed a new two-year deal this week which will take his stay at the club beyond 10 years.

And Pike is hopeful it should give the division’s leading goalscorer a timely boost to add to his haul of 23 league strikes, after four games without a goal.

Pike said: ‘The new contract is a deserved reward for his efforts.

‘And it would be an ideal time to celebrate his new contract and get himself back on the goalscoring trail again at Maidenhead.’

GOSPORT BOROUGH: (from) Ashmore, Forbes, Pearce, Poate, Carter, Ramsey, Smith, Wooden, Dunford, Robinson, Paterson, Bennett, Wort, Saez, Wilde, Benham, Matthews