Home, sweet home for Borough

Gosport boss Alex Pike
Gosport boss Alex Pike
Ollie Pearce scored for Bognor in their match today. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Bognor get first win in six months

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Gosport extended their fine home form with a 1-0 victory against Southern League south & west play-off promotion candidates Frome Town at Privett Park on Saturday.

Now Borough boss Alex Pike is demanding his players continue in the same vein on the road as they look to salvage some pride on their travels.

Thirteen defeats away from home this term have prevented Gosport mounting a play-off charge of their own.

And Pike reckons a larger squad could prevent a similar tale next season.

‘I feel we need a larger senior squad so that places can be filled when players aren’t available for one reason or another,’ said Pike.

‘If we played like we did against Frome in any of our away matches we would have won more than we lost and been up there wedged in a play-off position ourselves.

‘So with four games left, two away and two at home, I will be expecting every one of the squad to show me they want to be involved next season and earn the right to wear Borough’s colours.

‘Whatever happens, this club is bigger than any of us and deserves to be up there with the best at Southern League level.’

Right from the start of the clash, Borough were on top.

Adam Wilde’s early scorcher looked to be handled in the area, only for the referee to wave away penalty appeals.

To their credit, the Somerset visitors came to conquer.

But once Wilde set up Borough workhorse Pat Cox to thunder in an opener on 15 minutes, they never looked likely to get back in the match.

Ben Thomson had their best opportunity but former Pompey youngster Alex Hards produced a superb save to deny him an equaliser.

Both Cook and Pete Castle were outstanding in the heart of defence, smothering just about everything Frome strikers Ricky Hulbert and Mike Perrott were able to conjure.

And once young defender Steve Gilbert got to grips with the dangerous Thomson – and Jamie Ford won the battle for midfield dominance – the match was over as a contest.

And late on – with Borough cruising to victory – Justin Bennett went close to doubling the advantage with a shot that flew wide.

‘The season has passed us by again but we still have matches to play and I won’t accept anything other than performances like this one,’ said Pike.

‘The entire side gave me plenty to think about in terms of who will and who won’t be at the club next season.

‘And, on this showing at least, I couldn’t fault any of them, which is something that I had hoped for.’