Gosport told to keep play-off fate in own hands

Gosport will be relying on 'deadly' striker Dan Wooden to fire them to the play-offs
Gosport will be relying on 'deadly' striker Dan Wooden to fire them to the play-offs
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Gosport manager Alex Pike is backing his players to come through a massive test of nerve in their final away game of the season at Frome Town tonight (7.45pm).

A win will see Borough leap-frog closest-rivals Barwell in the Southern League premier play-off race and move into pole position with just one game to go.

Victory over St Neots at Privett Park in their final game on Saturday would then guarantee Pike’s team a place in the play-offs.

However, anything less than a win for Borough in the West Country tonight would hand the initiative back to Barwell and take Borough’s fate out of their own hands.

‘We have to be able to handle the pressure,’ said Pike.

‘At the moment our destiny is in our own hands but we must win our last two games.

‘If we don’t win at Frome then we will be left relying on others and we don’t want that.

‘The players know what the target is and will need to concentrate and apply themselves.’

Borough’s 3-1 win at Kettering at the weekend proved vital as, at the same time, Barwell were losing at Weymouth.

The victory in Northamptonshire was a professional performance against a team already relegated and Pike is looking for more of the same at Frome.

‘Kettering could easily have proved a banana skin for us but we did a good job,’ he said.

‘I am looking for us to keep possession a bit better, though, and be a little more composed in front of goal.

‘Our goals-to-chances-created ratio has not been good enough recently.

‘Frome have been one of our bogey sides but we must look to change that.

‘They work hard and close teams down quickly.

‘It will be crucial that we match their work-rate and concentrate for 90 minutes.

‘We have shown that we have the mental capacity to do that.

‘It may require patience and we don’t always have to win a game in the first 45 minutes.’

Pike added: ‘Sometimes we are guilty of panicking and going from back to front too quickly.

‘In Rory Williams and Dan Wooden we have two forwards who can be deadly if we put them into space through the channels.

‘We are a footballing side and that is what we have to concentrate on.

‘Now it is all about having that inner belief that can take us over the finishing line.’

Borough are still without injured striker Justin Bennett but the side still contains a wealth of experience.

Pike is looking for experienced players such as Aaron Cook, Lee Molyneaux, Brett Poate, Danny Smith and Jamie Brown to see his team to the win they need.