Catlin: No more Borough slip-ups

Gosport Borough midfielder Tom Dunford
Gosport Borough midfielder Tom Dunford
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ASSITANT-MANAGER Mick Catlin is backing Gosport Borough to stay in the hunt for a Vanarama Conference South play-off place by beating St Albans City at Privett Park (3pm).

Catlin accepts Borough are drinking at the last chance saloon and have little if any margin for any slip ups.

Alex Pike’s side sit one spot outside the play-off places – two points behind fifth-placed Whitehawk with three games left to play.

Catlin believes four clubs, including Borough, are left with a realistic chance of seizing the final play-off place left up for grabs.

‘It is between us, Whitehawk, Concord Rangers and Hemel Hempstead,’ said Catlin.

‘We probably have to win all our games and hope the others slip up.

‘If that happens then we have a chance of sneaking in.

‘We have shown in the past that we are capable of doing just that and it is when people write us off that we prove to be at our best.

‘In our promotion year in the Southern League we were dead and buried but managed to sneak in on the final day.

‘We won’t be throwing the towel in until it is no longer possible.’

Borough have bounced back into play-off contention after their hopes were badly dented by a three-game losing streak last month.

Since then the Privett Park side have won two on the bounce away from home, before dropping a vital point at home against Weston-super-Mare last Saturday.

Dropping the two points against their West Country visitors was disappointing and has only served to make Gosport’s task more difficult.

Borough paid the price for a poor first half and Catlin is hoping his side have learned from that.

‘We need all-three points against St Albans and nothing less,’ he said.

‘It may mean we need to gamble a bit more and have more of a creative threat going forwards.

‘In the second half last weekend we did just that, throwing on Tom Dunford and Paco Saez, and we could have sneaked a win.

‘We must be braver on the ball and get a few more bodies forward without leaving ourselves exposed at the back.’

Tomorrow’s hosts have a doubt over the fitness of combative midfielder Danny Smith, who is struggling with a groin injury.

The home side were pleased to see striker Matt Paterson come through the Weston game without any problems and he is expected to be fit and available.

St Albans beat Borough at Clarence Park earlier in the season, so the home side also have an added incentive of wanting to put the record straight.

The visitors are in a safe mid-table position.

But Catlin thinks that will only allow them to play with no pressure and with a greater freedom, making them dangerous opposition.

‘The play-off chase looks like going to the wire and we have to make sure we stay in it,’ said Catlin.

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Ashmore, Forbes, Poate, Carter, Robinson, Pearce, Ramsey, Saez, Smith, Dunford, Paterson, Wort, Bennett, Wooden, Wilde, Benham