Pike leads Borough applause

Dan Wooden opened the scoring for Borough
Dan Wooden opened the scoring for Borough
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Ryan Pennery in action for Gosport Borough against Stratford. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Pike: Time is running out for Gosport Borough

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Alex Pike was among those applauding the quality of Gosport Borough’s goals as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Hayes & Yeading to further boost their Skrill South survival hopes.

A superb first-half volley from Dan Wooden, a fine team goal that ended with a crisp Ryan Scott strike and a killer third from Rory Williams’ classy finish was enough to take Borough up to 16th in the table – four points above the drop zone but with games in hand on all of their rivals below them.

It was a comprehensive display from Pike’s troops as they bounced back in style from their weekend setback, when they lost 2-1 at home to Concord Rangers.

And it was the clearest indication yet that Borough are on their way to securing their Skrill South status with plenty of quality on display.

Pike said: ‘They were three excellent goals.

‘I thought we completely dominated them and deserved the win.

‘We played to our strengths but it’s no coincidence that our best two performances of the season have been on good pitches.

‘It was rolled and it was flat and we saw that with our second goal – it was a quality goal involving seven players and one-touch passing around the box and a great finish into the bottom corner.

‘That’s what we can do when we have a decent pitch.

‘The first goal showed what Dan can do, too.

‘It was a great first touch and he looked up and firmly planted the volley past the keeper.

‘It set the ball rolling for us and the third one was very well taken by Rory Williams.’

Neither goalkeeper had been troubled before Wooden’s moment of magic as he controlled, swivelled and looped home a volley in a fluid movement that was reminiscent of Thierry Henry’s famous goal for Arsenal against Manchester United back in 2000.

But after his moment of genius, Wooden somehow missed an open goal 10 minutes later, when Justin Bennett fired in a low cross after muscling past the defender.

With the Borough pessimists fearing that miss could prove costly, Borough settled any nerves and doubled their lead six minutes after the restart.

Another smart finish saw Scott rifle home a low drive into the bottom corner, after some sharp Gosport passing created an opening.

And when Williams produced a deft piece of control to a deep cross from the left and added a clever finish with the outside of his left boot with 21 minutes left, Pike was relaxed enough to indulge his aeroplane celebration.

Even if the manager knew the game was settled at that point, he reiterated his warning that Borough are not safe from the drop just yet.

He said: ‘It’s still tough. Everyone is down there fighting for survival.

‘But now I’m aiming to finish as high as we can – not just above the relegation zone.’

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Pearce, Poate, Forbes, Carmichael (Woodward, 70), Smith (Dunford, 75), Scott, Wooden (Gosney, 75), Bennett, Williams. Unused subs: Brown, Richardson