AARON DAWSON played his final game for Gosport Borough in the 2-0 Southern League premier division defeat at Stratford Town.
Dawson has been Borough’s star player but Borough can no longer afford to pay his wages and have been forced to release him.
The attacking midfielder is likely to join either Salisbury or Truro City.
Caretaker-manager Danny Thompson admits Dawson’s departure will be a major loss but accepts the club had little alternative.
He said: ‘For what Aaron was on we can bring in three or four other players.
‘He has been without doubt our best player and losing him is unfortunate.
‘We can’t speak too highly of him because he has stuck with us and given it everything he has got.
‘He understands the situation the club is in and has been a real credit.’
Thompson who replaced the sacked Alex Pike in midweek must feel everything is conspiring against the club at the moment.
The trip to Stratford town turned into a nightmare journey after the M3 was shut because of a chemical spillage.
The journey took five-and-a-half hours in a mini-bus.
‘It took us three hours to get past Winchester,’ said Thompson.
‘We left at 9.15am and arrived at the ground 20 minutes before the scheduled kick-off.
‘The referee then forced us to kick off at 3.15 which left everything very rushed.’
It wasn’t surprising when Stratford caught the visitors cold to score twice in the opening 11 minutes.
Borough were certainly not going to give up and wave the white flag, though.
New signing Iffy Onwuachu impressed up front and had a couple of chances to get Gosport on the scoresheet but it wasn’t to be.
‘Iffy gave us a physical presence up front which is something we have not had,’ said Thompson.
‘He hasn’t played for a while and because of that his finishing was a bit rusty.’
Another newcomer Sam Woodward, recently released by Aldershot, also did well for Gosport.