Hook praise for play-off chasers

Gosport Borough hope to have Aaron Cooke fit for the trip to Barwell after he limped off against Weymouth at the weekend with a hamstring problem
Gosport Borough hope to have Aaron Cooke fit for the trip to Barwell after he limped off against Weymouth at the weekend with a hamstring problem
Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Gosport Borough chairman Mark Hook has praised the patience of his players following a difficult financial period for the club.

The first-team squad, who were not paid at the end of last month, pledged their support to the Southern League premier division side – underlining their desire to continue pushing for a play-off spot.

That attitude earned the approval of Hook, who has now welcomed a new vice chairman to Privett Park.

While the fresh face wants to remain anonymous, he has brought with him a financial boost.

And Hook is buoyed by the help his new second in command has provided during a tough period off the pitch for the club.

‘We have had a new vice chairman join us and he is dedicated to bringing further success to the club,’ he said.

‘He wishes to remain in the background at the present time but it is great to have someone else on board to share the workload.

‘All the players will be paid their arrears this week and, as a reward for their positive attitude, will also receive a week in advance.

‘They have remained 100-per-cent committed to the club and what we are trying to achieve.

‘People sometimes forget how successful Borough have been in the last five seasons.

‘We have risen from the Wessex premier to within touching distance of Blue Square Bet South football.

‘That has taken a lot of hard work from a number of people.’

Borough have gone 15 games unbeaten in the league – an impressive run that has seen them rise from the fringes of the relegation zone to within five points of the play-offs.

Tonight they face one of their toughest tests of the season when they visit Barwell – the side directly above them in the league table in fifth.

The Kirkby Roaders have already defeated Borough at Privett Park this term, so the visitors know they will face a stern examination of their promotion credentials.

Alex Pike’s side have a good record on the road, though, and will travel with confidence they can cause another upset to a top side away from home.

Hook also believes the fact his club are back on track financially will help their cause.

‘Everything is good, and to be honest with you, always was,’ said Hook.

‘The cash-flow problem was a blip and one shared by lots of non-league teams up and down the country.

‘It was the number of Saturday games postponed due to the weather that caused the problem.

‘That meant the amount of money coming into the club from secondary areas, like the bar and catering, was reduced.

‘It is never as profitable when the games are rearranged for midweek when we tend to get less people through the gate.

‘This is a big game for us at Barwell tonight and a chance for us to close the gap on them.’

Barwell are a strong physical side and Borough know they will have to battle hard to earn the three points.

Boss Pike hopes to have experienced defender Aaron Cook fit after he limped out of the 0-0 draw against Weymouth on Saturday with a hamstring problem.