Pike celebrates as Borough mean business

Dan Wooden. Picture: Ally Mac Photography
Dan Wooden. Picture: Ally Mac Photography
  • Boss marks 10 years in the job with fourth consecutive win
  • More than 2,000 fans watch Gosport defeat Chelmsford
  • Aerial Direct link-up proves to be a crowd-pleaser
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Alex Pike celebrated his 10th anniversary in charge at Gosport Borough in style.

Not only did his troops beat Chelmsford City 2-1 to remain in the Vanarama National League South play-off frame, they did it in front of a club record crowd at the Aerial Direct Stadium.

A shrewd piece of marketing in the community saw the attendance swell to 2,132 spectators.

Pike believes it will prove to be a landmark day in the club’s history.

‘Ever since I sold my own business two months ago and became full-time at the club, I have been looking at a number of initiatives,’ said the boss.

‘The big crowd is a result of a community project run in conjunction with our main sponsors Aerial Direct, a telecommunications company.

‘We went out into the local schools, youth organisations and Royal Navy advertising free tickets for the game.

‘They had to apply for tickets providing email addresses and contact details on each one.

‘In that way our relationship with our sponsors is a two-way process.

‘They agreed to pay us £10 for every ticket taken up and in return they are getting a lot of leads in their bid to build up a mobile network package in the area.

‘Aerial Direct will also provide us with a percentage of any revenue they gain from this on a regular basis. As a club, we are becoming more proactive and have other ideas in the pipeline.

‘To get such a large crowd in three weeks before Christmas is a massive achievement.’

The newcomers, as well as the regular fans, must have been pleased with what they saw as Borough stretched their winning run to four games in the league.

After the first half ended goalless, Dan Wooden fired Borough into the lead four minutes after the restart.

Wooden found space in the Chelmsford area before planting a powerful shot past the visiting goalkeeper.

The Clarets looked on their way to a point when they equalised on 78 minutes.

But Borough were determined to send the large crowd home happy and six minutes from the end George Barker slotted in from a tight angle.

‘We played some terrific football without taking our chances in the first half,’ said Pike.

‘I trust my players and even when we lost the lead late on, I believed we would win it.

‘George Barker is improving every game and he proved to be the match winner.

‘He is the sort of player who excites me and one I would gladly pay to watch play.

‘Hopefully a lot of the newcomers through the gate will be back here for the big derby against the Hawks on Boxing Day.’

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Cuthbertson, Williams, Carter, Poate (Ramsey, 17min), Woodford, Barker, Robinson, Vine (Wilde, 70min), Bennett, Wooden. Att: 2,132.