Pike praise for Borough

Gosport Borough's Dan Woodward
Gosport Borough's Dan Woodward
Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Alex Pike praised his side’s perseverance as they secured a 3-1 Hampshire Senior Cup win against Hartley Wintney.

The home side were always expected to progress to the second round of the competition after being drawn against the Combined Counties League side.

But Gosport were made to work hard for their victory on home soil as the visitors looked to defend a surprise early lead.

Wintney’s resolve, however, was eventually broken three times by Dan Woodward, Matt Paterson and Steve Ramsey.

And Pike admitted it came as no surprise that the visitors arrived looking to frustrate his side as best they could.

‘Unfortunately, in the early games of the Hampshire Senior Cup, you get games like this,’ said Pike.

‘No disrespect to Hartley Wintney, they’ve come here, it’s their cup final, they’ve put all 11 men behind the ball – they had no intention to score, even when they went 2-1 down.

‘That then poses other challenges for us and, usually, that’s where we usually struggle.

‘However, this time we were comfortable and it was sealed superbly by Steve Ramsey.

‘Even though I made six changes to the side that beat Bromley this weekend, all my players were Conference South players.

‘I don’t know how many passes we completed last night, but there were 586 in a Premier League game this Sunday and we probably doubled that. We had so much possession.’

The visitors almost capitalised on some slack Gosport defending in the opening minutes of the game, with Lukas Burt sending his shot narrowly wide.

But they did take the lead moments later when a shot from long range was spilt by keeper Wayne Shaw.

He was then beaten to the loose ball by Burt, who tucked the ball home to give the away side the advantage.

Gosport were level on 20 minutes, though, through Woodward.

The defender, who found himself in unfamiliar territory inside the opposition’s box, fumbled home a Paterson cross after Lee Wort’s knock-on.

Borough then could have taken the lead on the half-hour mark, but Mike Carter’s header, from a Rory Williams cross, went just wide.

On the stroke of half-time, the home side almost seized the initiative again.

A neat ball to the edge of the box fell to the feet of Ramsey but he skewed his first-time shot wide.

After a stop-start opening to the second half, Lee Molyneux came close to putting Gosport ahead, but his ambitious 30-yard effort flew just over the bar.

Minutes later, Paco Saez rattled the Hartley crossbar when his over-hit cross evaded everyone, including the keeper – but the ball went out for a goal-kick.

The home side continued to press and saw a goal disallowed after Wort, who was adjudged to be offside.

He and Paterson went for the same ball, with the former superbly lofting the ball over Dean Mahoney and into the net, only for the linesman’s flat to be raised.

Paterson did put Gosport ahead moments later, though.

Hartley captain Shane Hollamby sliced what seemed like a simple ball, and the alert Paterson pounced and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper.

With time running out, a superb solo effort from Ramsey – 25 yards from goal – then left the keeper rooted to the spot as Gosport wrapped up victory in spectacular style.