Borough man gets extra time

Matt Paterson. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs
Matt Paterson. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs
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Alex Pike is confident Matt Paterson will win his race against time to be fit for tonight’s crucial trip to Hayes & Yeading (7.45pm).

The Gosport Borough striker has scored 21 times in all competitions this season and has formed a prolific partnership with Justin Bennett, who has scored 30 goals.

Although Pike kept the injury under wraps, Paterson was a major doubt for the weekend trip to Wealdstone – a match that was postponed by the referee just an hour before kick-off.

While that was a major frustration, with Borough already at the venue, the silver lining was that it allowed the former Southampton man some extra recovery time.

And with Borough needing victory to maintain their push for a play-off place, Paterson is a vital cog in the wheel.

Pike said: ‘It was massively frustrating to get up there to Wealdstone and then for the game to be called off so late.

‘If there were doubts about the pitch, that decision should have been made way before 2pm.

‘But in the grand scheme of things, it might have done us a favour, although it didn’t feel like it when we travelled up for nothing.

‘I had Matt Paterson needing a fitness test on a groin and it was probably 50-50 as to whether he would play.

‘But now he’s had a few extra days to recover, we’re hoping he is fit to play against Hayes & Yeading.’

Paterson netted the only goal of the game when the two sides met at Privett Park back in December.

An ongoing calf injury is set to rule out Brett Poate again, but Pike has midfielder Mike Carter back available after his suspension.

That leaves the Borough boss with some tricky decisions, with a glut of midfielders pushing for selection.

He said: ‘I’ve brought in Andy Robinson and River Allen recently so I’ve got a few decisions to make.

‘At this time of the season, a lot of managers get themselves ready for an onslaught of fixtures but we haven’t had them because there haven’t been as many games called off.

‘Last season we had that terrible weather and it seemed like we were playing three games every week towards the end of the season. It was horrendous.’

Borough are gearing themselves up for a pivotal part of the season and, on paper, their fixture list does not look too intimidating.

Of their promotion rivals, they only face Bromley – and that is on the final day of the season at home.

But they lost to basement 
boys Staines Town last month and 
will be keen to make sure there is no repeat against struggling Hayes tonight.

Pike added: ‘We’ve still got Bromley to play on the last game of the season.

‘But the rest of the fixtures are against sides below us.

‘We only have to look at the games we lost against Staines, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead to know that doesn’t mean all that much.

‘Those are games that I felt we should have won and we didn’t.

‘So the attitude needs to be right from everyone.

‘We seem to perform better when we have the underdogs tag but we need a win to keep that momentum going.’

GOSPORT: Ashmore, Forbes, Pearce, Robinson, Williams, Smith, Ramsey, Dunford, Wooden, Bennett, Paterson, Butcher, Wilde, Carter, Wort, Saez