GOSPORT BOROUGH are happy to be on the road again as they make the long journey to Stourbridge in the Evostik Southern League premier division.
Borough have only lost once on their travels so far this season – a narrow 1-0 defeat at Bedford Town.
In all the other games away from Privett Park, they have displayed great resilience and the ability to grind out points.
Assistant manager Mick Catlin is expecting another tough test at fourth-placed Stourbridge but believes the team have shown they can cope.
‘We have been quite a solid unit away from home,’ said Catlin.
‘When we haven’t had the ball we have remained compact and then used the pace in our side to counter-attack.
‘That, and the fact we keep going to the end, has worked quite well for us.
‘There seems to be less pressure on us away from home and the players seem more relaxed.
‘We have matched the top sides in our league already this season so we don’t need to fear Stourbridge
‘The aim is to give it a go and come back with the minimum of a point.’
If they are to get any reward, Borough know they will have to cut out the individual errors that have cost them dear.
In the 1-1 draw at Bedworth last Saturday, Borough led 1-0 when a mistake resulted in a penalty and an equaliser.
Alex Pike’s side have been consistently punished for their errors and have had to work hard for their goals.
Catlin, though, is backing the players to tighten up defensively and battle for points.
‘If Stourbridge is anything like Bedworth, then the pitch will be heavy after the rain,’ he said.
‘We have got some big, strong, physical lads in the team who are prepared to dig in and work for each other.
‘That is so important when the going gets heavy underfoot.
‘This is a tough, physical league and you have to be able to stand up to it.
‘That is one thing we have learned in the first half of the season and I am sure we will be stronger for it in the new year. We are getting better.’
Full-back Ellis Martin, who was stretchered off with an ankle injury at Bedworth, is definitely out but Borough hope Lee Molyneaux will be ready to return after similar problems.
The visitors are boosted by the return of central-midfielder Ian Jones.
GOSPORT: Ashmore, May, Poate, Pearce, Wooden, Woodward, Ford, Smith, Wilde, Igoe, Bennett, Brown, Stow, King, Dunsford, Cook, Jones I