Catlin: Borough can’t let FA Trophy dent us

Gosport Borough manager Alex Pike, left, with his assistant Mick Catlin Picture: Paul Jacobs
Gosport Borough manager Alex Pike, left, with his assistant Mick Catlin Picture: Paul Jacobs
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Mick Catlin insists there is nothing to read into Gosport Borough’s FA Trophy exit.

Borough went out at the first hurdle as they went down to a 2-1 loss at southern league Cirencester in awful weather conditions.

And the weather again put paid to any hopes of a quick response as their Vanarama National League south trip to Wealdstone was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch last night.

After a patchy run of form lately, Alex Pike’s side appeared to have turned the corner as they blazed back to form with three straight wins to fire themselves back into the play-off mix.

And the Borough assistant boss has dismissed any notion of complacency at Cirencester even though the Privett Park outfit are normally renowned for their efforts when the going gets tough.

Catlin said: ‘I don’t think there was any complacency.

‘The weather conditions were horrendous and it took it away from being a football match and more into being a battle.

‘Cirencester got their noses in front and then dug in.

‘It’s unusual for us to lose out in a battle like that.

‘But they got men behind the ball and everything we tried just didn’t come off.

‘It was just a bad day at the office. I don’t think there is anything to read into it.

‘We were on the back of three straight wins and we made changes with a view to the Wealdstone game.

‘You try to look after the squad and we left out Rowan Vine and Andy Robinson.

‘With hindsight and with the game being called off, maybe we should have left it as it was.

‘But we couldn’t have known that.’

Although leaders Ebbsfleet have opened up a seven-point gap at the top of the table, Borough moved into the final play-off place after their 3-1 win at St Albans last time out.

But there are plenty of contenders bidding to get into contention this term and Catlin knows much will depend on Borough’s ability to string together some consistent results.

He said: ‘We started the season well, then hit a bad spell and once the confidence went, we were struggling for a while.

‘All of a sudden, we had three wins on the bounce and we are back in and around the play-offs.

‘Pretty much every team in the league has had those types of spells, apart from Ebbsfleet.

‘They look like they might run away with it.

‘But any team is capable of beating any other team in this league.

‘It’s all about how quickly you can get out of the bad run and how long you can stay on the good ones.

‘There are more games when you stay in the FA Trophy and it stretches the squad more but the added income helps you keep the squad intact and bring in players if you need to do that.

‘But the priority at the start of the season was to get into the play-offs and win them. That’s still our aim.

‘There will be loads of twists and turns yet.’

Meanwhile, fans can still apply for free tickets for Saturday’s home clash with Chelmsford City as part of the club’s sponsorship with Aerial Direct.

Visit for more details.