GOSPORT BOROUGH are ready for a big test of character as Truro City visit Privett Park tonight (7.45pm).
Assistant-manager Mick Catlin was massively disappointed by Borough’s 3-0 opening-day defeat at Maidenhead United.
He is hoping Borough bounce straight back with a win over their Cornish visitors.
‘Expectations are always high at the start of a season and everyone wants to get off to a good start,’ said Catlin.
‘Unfortunately we never got going from the first whistle and failed to win many of the personal battles.
‘We looked a bit disjointed and maybe that was down to a lot of new players coming in.
‘In the heat we were unable to play our usual high tempo game.
‘The turning point came early in the second half when we had a good shout for a penalty turned down.
‘Chris Flood got to the ball first inside the area only to be cleaned out by their goalkeeper.
‘Everyone in the ground expected a penalty only for the referee to penalise our player for foot up.
‘Within a couple of minutes Maidenhead had gone down the other end and scored their second goal.
‘After that we were chasing the game which left us wide open for their third goal.
‘Their striker Dave Tarpey caused us a lot of problems and we couldn’t handle him all game.’
Borough must now look to tame last season’s play-off semi-finalists Truro who started the season with a 2-2 home draw against Chelmsford City.
The home side are hoping to have Adam Wilde back in contention after illness.
Josh Carmichael and Dan Wooden however are still unavailable.
Wooden is away while Carmichael is on a two-week trial at League One club Millwall.
‘They are both two big misses for us,’ said Catlin.
‘Carmichael is a quality player and as a club we can’t stand in his way when an opportunity of league football is on offer.
‘It is disappointing not to have Wooden around at a time when we are crying out for a wide player with his pace.
‘All our players were disappointed with their performances at Maidenhead.
‘We have been in this league long enough now to know if you are not on your game you are going to get beat.
‘Knowing the lads I feel I can back them to show the necessary character to make a response.
‘Our focus is on putting in a much-improved performance and ideally pick up three points.’
Goalkeeper Martin Rice and attacking midfielder Aaron Dawson will make their home debuts against their previous club.
Gosport Borough: Rice, Cuthbertson, Bird, Carter, Poate, Oastler, Dawson, Harding, Flood, Wright, Bentley, Pearce, Wilde, Bufton, Lanahan, Bailey, Walters.