ALEX PIKE is adamant Gosport Borough will not be relegated.
The Privett Park boss saw his side draw 3-3 with Dorchester in the Southern League premier division on Saturday.
Borough were denied the win by a last-minute equaliser.
Despite having defender Harry Medway sent off in the first half the home side looked to be heading for only their third league win of the season.
Against the odds Jason Smith had scrambled Borough ahead 10 minutes from the end.
Deep into stoppage time, however, the Magpies snatched an equaliser to leave Gosport devastated.
Though Borough failed to win they produced a performance to lift spirits at the club.
Manager Pike had mixed emotions, he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but remains defiant.
He said: ‘There is no doubt about us staying up.
‘We are starting to get it right on the pitch.
‘The chairman is certainly getting it right off the pitch and is giving me the tools to do the job.
‘I will keep this club up and then next season we will challenge at the right end of the table.
‘Our aim will then be to get back into National League South.
‘We can take a huge amount of encouragement.
‘It was unfortunate we didn’t win but we had to play a large part of the game with 10 men.
‘We could and maybe should still have won it but under the circumstances did well to get into a position where we got a point.’
After starting well and creating two early chances Borough fell behind.
Craig McAllister equalised but Borough then saw Medway red carded for an off the ball incident.
The Magpies regained the lead on 40 minutes but Borough showed their character to hit back through a stunning long-range drive from Stephane Bombelenga right on half-time.
Smith scored from a corner for 3-2 but the visitors levelled at the death.
‘I asked my players to stand up and be counted and they certainly did that,’ added Pike.
‘They showed they wanted to play for the badge, the club and for me.
‘We needed men out there and we showed that.
‘All the new lads who have come in did well.
‘We are forging the type of partnerships and bonds that can help us move forward.
‘I am still looking to bring a couple more players in to add to this.’
Pike also praised the way the supporters got behind the players.
‘The only way this club will move forward is by everyone pulling together,’ said the Borough boss.
Gosport Borough: O’Flaherty, Sharp, Medway, Lea, Flooks, Wakeley, Bombelenga, Smith, McAllister, Suraci, Rawkins. Subs: Cherrett, Lis, Dennett, Watts, Paige