Borough warned not to give up

Justin Bennett is set to miss the final three games of the season. Picture: Malcolm Wells (124166-5291)
Justin Bennett is set to miss the final three games of the season. Picture: Malcolm Wells (124166-5291)
Brett Poate

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Alex Pike surveyed Gosport Borough’s promotion bid and warned his players not to give up.

The Privett Park outfit head to Kettering Town tomorrow as the race for the Southern League premier division play-offs nears its climax.

Three defeats in their past four matches have left Pike’s men facing an uphill battle to seal their spot.

Borough are five points shy of fifth-placed Barwell – with a game in hand.

And Pike admits his side must chalk up victories in all of their remaining fixtures to realise their dream.

‘We need to win our three final games and see where it takes us,’ he said.

‘I expect my players to keep going and any who give up are giving up on a contract for next season.

‘To lose three out of our last four games has been a massive blow but the players have to pick themselves up.

‘We need Barwell to slip up but our aim is to go into the final day still with some sort of chance.

‘If we can do that, we all know anything can happen.’

Pike is still smarting after last weekend’s defeat to Stourbridge.

He reckons the game should not have been given the green light after heavy rain left the surface saturated.

‘They scored two goals where the ball stuck in the mud but, at the other end, we missed out on two goals in the same circumstances,’ he said.

After the trip to the already-relegated Kettering, Borough face a midweek visit to Frome before hosting St Neots Town on the final day.

‘At one point we were third and favourites to make the play-offs,’ added Pike.

‘That just raises our expectations even more.

‘We must not lose sight that it is our first season at this level and maybe we have exceeded our expectations.

‘But now it is a case of maintaining our concentration.

‘Kettering have had some decent results lately and we will have to remain alert.

‘But we can go and play with no fear because we are now outsiders for the play-offs.’

Borough could be without striker Justin Bennett for the rest of the season because of an ankle injury.