Pike: Gosport’s play-off chances dashed by heavy defeat

Alex Pike was not happy last night
Alex Pike was not happy last night
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Furious Alex Pike has written off Gosport Borough’s promotion hopes after their 3-0 defeat at Wealdstone last night.

The Borough boss saw his side crumble to a third straight Vanarama Conference South loss to waste their chance to climb back into the top five.

And Pike felt it was a telling blow for the club’s ambitions for the season, despite the fact they still have six games left to play.

Pike said: ‘I think our hopes have gone.

‘We’re not good enough and we don’t deserve to get in the top five when we lose to teams like Eastbourne, Chelmsford and Wealdstone.

‘I’m looking towards next season now. This season has gone.

‘The pressure has started to tell on the players.

‘We’ve lost to these three teams and we have shot ourselves in the foot.

‘It’s not good enough and I’m absolutely furious.’

Wealdstone looked a handful in attack all evening with their veteran strike pairing of Scott McGleish and Jefferson Louis, who have a combined age of 77, and a wealth of Football League experience between them.

And the hosts grabbed a deserved lead in the 25th minute with a quality goal.

Winger Matt Ball was afforded too much time to cut in from the left flank and he produced a superb finish as he curled the ball into the bottom corner to give the home side the lead.

Borough nearly found a leveller before the interval when Mike Carter burst through from midfield after picking up a loose ball.

But his low drive took a slight deflection and grazed the far post, although Lee Wort was screaming for a pass and looked better placed.

Gosport came out for the second period knowing they had to turn it around to keep their play-off hopes on track.

Striker Justin Bennett got his first real sight of goal in the opening few minutes, only to be denied twice in quick succession by last-ditch blocks.

Defender Sam Pearce then had a header from a corner kicked off the line, before Wort’s shot on the turn was tipped behind by the goalkeeper at his near post.

But Borough’s bright start was up in smoke 10 minutes into the half.

McGleish beat the offside trap and showed all of his experience to steady himself and smash home with a no-nonsense finish.

The 41-year-old, who was still playing league football three years ago, could have put the game to bed.

But Gosport keeper Nathan Ashmore denied him in another one-on-one, while Louis almost scored a cracker with a low volley that rattled the inside of the post.

Pearce nearly grabbed a late lifeline for Borough with a glancing header that clattered the post from Adam Wilde’s free-kick.

But there was no way back as Wealdstone grabbed their third three minutes from time.

On this occasion it was Louis who was given far too much freedom to stroll through Gosport’s faulty offside trap.

And he clipped home high into Ashmore’s net to seal the points for his side as they enjoyed a comfortable evening.

GOSPORT: Ashmore, Forbes, Pearce, Poate, Williams, Smith (Dunford, 84), Carter, Wooden (Ramsey, 80), Wilde (Matthews, 89), Wort, Bennett. Subs not used: Saez, Robinson.