GOSPORT BOROUGH have been tasked to deliver a response to their first loss of the season.
Borough slipped to a 1-0 reverse at Sutton United on Saturday as their impressive start to the campaign stalled.
Now we have a chance to bounce back against Bath.Mick Catlin
Two missed penalties proved central to their downfall as their unbeaten beginning came to a close.
But they have a quick chance to put that right as they take on Bath City at Privett Park tonight in the Vanarama National League South.
Bath have also started the season in impressive fashion and go into the game one point off league leaders Ebbsfleet United.
Tonight’s fixture starts a run of four home games on the bounce for Borough, who have no new injury concerns.
Assistant manager Mick Catlin is looking for the right desire from the players to put right last weekend’s loss.
He said: ‘We’re not used to losing, so this is a different feeling for us.
‘We were pleased with our second-half display on Saturday.
‘It just lacked the goals. There were a lot of chances for us but we missed two penalties, and that was crucial.
‘We could have been two or three down in the first half and can’t afford a repeat of that.
‘But now we have a chance to bounce back against Bath.
‘They have started well, too, but drawn the last couple.
‘But with the home games we have coming up we have a good chance to consolidate our form.
‘A good result will put us right back in there.’
The Privett Park side will be looking to continue their miserly defensive form tonight in their 10th league game of the campaign.
They’ve shipped just seven goals so far, with their strength at the back forming the cornerstone of a promising opening.
Continuity has proved key there, with TJ Cuthbertson, Ryan Woodford, Brett Poate and Rory Williams the regular starters at the back.
Catlin said: ‘The key has been the back five.
‘We’ve had a consistent back four starting, with Nathan Ashmore behind them.
‘That constant has allowed them to build up an understanding.
‘If you don’t concede goals you have a chance of winning games –and that’s been key.
‘Any defender needs to defend first and foremost and that’s what they have done.
‘It’s five cleans sheets for them so far – and they have the bit between the teeth.
‘When you aren’t conceding it’s always the back four who will take the credit.
‘But the whole team has been defending well as a unit.
‘We have good experience at the back.
‘Brett Poate is a good talker and has struck up an understanding with Ryan Woodford.
‘When you have that from your centre-halves it helps the defence as whole.
‘We haven’t had the injuries and that has stopped us from chopping and changing.
‘It’s a bit different for the midfielders with the workload they have to go through.
‘If we can start spreading the goals around a bit I think we can be right there.’