Pike sets sights on league title

Gosport Borough striker Dan Wooden is carefully watched by four Leamington defenders during Saturday's match at Privett Park
Gosport Borough striker Dan Wooden is carefully watched by four Leamington defenders during Saturday's match at Privett Park
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike isn’t ruling out a Southern League premier division title charge as his side extended their unbeaten run to 21 matches against league leaders Leamington.

A 3-0 victory over the top side in the division at Privett Park moved Borough up to fourth in the table and strengthened their hold on one of the four play-off places.

They remain nine points behind table-toppers Leamington, who have two games in hand on their rivals.

But Pike doesn’t believe his in-form troops have to settle for the play-offs for the right to play in the Blue Square Bet South next season.

He believes a fight for the title is well within Borough’s grasp and they will have a go until it is impossible.

‘We are where we are in the league table because of not doing that well at the start of the season and then going on this magnificent run to put us in a very handy position,’ said Pike.

‘Okay, I accept it’s a tall order but earlier there were those who wrote us off, deciding we were favourites to be relegated.

‘So with things as they are, why shouldn’t we carry on playing as we do and see if we can come out on top when it matters?’

On this form, Borough look unbeatable and have a chairman in Mark Hook, a board of directors and an ever-growing fan base that support their manager’s ambitions.

Borough also possess a squad of players who are equally ambitious.

And they took centre stage in front of 600 fans by producing a display which left Leamington looking very much second best.

Only a superb strike from Dan Wooden separated the sides at the interval.

But once strike partner Rory Williams brought a massive roar of appreciation from the crowd early in the second half when his fire-bolt effort flew into the roof of the Brakes net to double the home side’s advantage, the match was effectively won.

Rather than sit back and take a breather, though, Borough continued to rip the Leamington rearguard apart.

And it came as no surprise when man-of-the-match Jamie Brown completed the scoring.

He darted in to meet a Lee Molyneaux cross and turn the ball into an empty net, leaving Pike delighted at the final whistle.

‘To have gone 21 matches unbeaten is some record to be proud of and I think everyone involved with the club must take some credit,’ said Pike.

‘The important thing was not to allow Leamington to open up a lead.

‘And because we have quality defenders – and a goalkeeper in Nathan Ashmore who sometimes defies gravity with some of his saves – then it was only a question of breaking them down to win the match.

‘And that’s exactly what the lads did on Saturday.

‘They kept their discipline and here we are having closed the gap on the leaders by beating them for a second time this season.’

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, King, Poate, Cook, Molyneaux, Dunford, Igoe, Brown, Wooden, Williams, Woodward. Substitutes: Wilson, Wilde, Martin, Macklin