Gosport Borough boss Hitchin for first win

Craig McAllister. Picture: Keith Woodland
Craig McAllister. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Alex Pike wants Gosport Borough to build on the positive performance in their Southern League premier division draw against Merthyr Town.

Borough travel to Hitchin Town keen to turn around the 3-0 home defeat suffered in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Pike saw enough in the game against Merthyr last weekend to convince him his side will avoid the one relegation spot.

‘We are starting to get good players into the areas where we need them,’ said the Borough boss.

‘It gives us the chance to get more organised and settled. That showed against Merthyr when we were unfortunate not to win.

‘With the number of players brought in there is a need for the team to gel quickly. That can happen when you have players who not only want to play but want to win.

‘We are still looking to bring in a couple more players, though.’

The introduction of Eastleigh loanee defender Harvey Read and striker Ryan Pennery, from Moneyfields, has made a difference.

Read has helped give the Borough defence greater stability

Up front Craig McAllister suddenly has a young runner alongside him and that gave Borough a greater threat going forward against Merthyr.

It was the first time the pair had played together and the partnership is only going to get better.

Prior to that game, McAllister had been ploughing a largely lone furrow up front with little support.

Howeber, Pike recognises the important contribution of his player-coach.

He said: ‘Craig has been magnificent from day one. He has provided the leadership that had been missing.

‘As a player he is one who will take the bull by the horns, lead by example and is always brave on the ball.

‘With Pennery joining him, suddenly the ball is not coming straight back after our defence clear it.

‘The performance in our last game can give us great hope for the future.’

Borough are also boosted by the return of one of their most consistent performers, Harry Medway.

The defender has missed the last three games through suspension.

With the ban completed, Medway is likely to come straight back into the team for the trip to Hitchin.

Medway is another player Pike regards as a key factor in his team’s development.

‘Since I returned to the club Harry has been the best and most consistent player,’ the boss added.

‘His attitude has been superb and he is an integral part of getting a winning mentality back into the squad.’

There are doubts over the fitness of Borough defenders Ed Wakely and Rob Flooks.

Wakely has an ankle injury and Flooks has been ill.

Pike is aware it will be tough at Hitchin but it is a challenge he needs his players to embrace.

‘We haven’t taken any points off any of the teams in the top half of the table,’ he said.

‘Sooner or later, if we are going to stay up, we must start doing that.’