Alex Pike blamed the officials and a defensive error for Gosport Borough’s 2-1 Vanarama National League South defeat by Ebbsfleet United at Privett Park.
The Borough boss claimed the league leaders’ opening goal in the first half was blatantly offside.
Their lad was yards offside but he was allowed to go on and scoreAlex Pike
After Justin Bennett levelled the scores at the start of the second half a Brett Poate mistake gifted the visitors what proved to be the winning goal.
‘Their lad was yards offside but he was allowed to go on and score,’ said Pike.
‘Then after we get ourselves back into the match, a mistake at the back ended up costing us the game.
‘Teams like Ebbsfleet will always punish you if you let them.’
The controversial opener came in the 27th minute with Danny Kedwell looking clearly offside.
The Borough defence stopped expecting a flag but when it didn’t come Matt Godden scored.
Bennett got Borough back on level terms, nine minutes after the break, slotting home from close-range taking his tally to 12 goals in as many games.
But Ebbsfleet quickly got ahead.Jordan Parkes knocked the ball across for Danny Kedwell to knock home.
After that the Kent side closed the game out despite Borough’s spirited efforts.
‘In terms of football and performance I’m happy and there wasn’t a lot between the two teams,’ said Pike.
‘It is annoying to lose because I felt we deserved something out of it.
‘I couldn’t fault our work-rate and we competed well with the team at the top.’
Borough gave a debut to ex-Portsmouth striker Rowan Vine playing him alongside Bennett up front.
Pike felt he saw enough to suggest it can be a prolific partnership.
Vine spent a few weeks training with the Hawks and Pike was quick to act when he was released by their rivals.
‘Rowan did well on his debut, though you could see he hasn’t played much football lately,’ said Pike.
‘Two or three of his cushioned lay-offs inside defenders for Bennett to run onto were class.
‘That is what Matt Paterson used to do for Bennett last season.
‘Rowan’s experience and positivity should prove a big asset.
‘He knows this is probably his last chance to showcase his skills and basically just wants to play football.’
Despite the defeat Borough are still handily placed in ninth spot.
Pike has rearranged the visit to Truro City for next Saturday.
‘We have to make sure that we stay up around the top five or six by Christmas,’ said Pike.
‘The aim will be to push on after that and the players still have the belief they can achieve that.’
Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Cuthbertson, Williams, Carter, Poate, Woodford, Dunford (Ramsey, 66), Barker, Vine (Wort, 78), Bennett, Wooden (Wilde, 66).