Pike: Shape up or sit out

07/09/13  ''Gosport Borough take on Maidenhead United at Privett Park. Justin Bennett.'Picture  Ian Hargreaves  (132479-2)
07/09/13 ''Gosport Borough take on Maidenhead United at Privett Park. Justin Bennett.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (132479-2)
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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 is beginning to run out of patience.

And the Gosport Borough boss has warned his players they face the chop if they don’t start improving.

The Privett Park boss has overseen a tricky start to the club’s maiden Skrill South campaign.

A registration embargo had, until Saturday, left Pike with little room for manouevre with regard to his squad, which was limited to just 16.

But now that has been lifted – after the club’s tax problems were resolved last week – he has greater flexibility.

And after Borough went down 2-0 at home to Maidenhead United on Saturday – he has told his players he will not hesitate to use it.

‘It’s my responsibility as manager to send out a side that can play well, take chances, not concede sloppy goals and win matches,’ said Pike.

‘If my defenders can’t defend properly and my strikers fail to come up with the goals, then changes will have to be made, it’s as simple as that.

‘And that’s the situation as things stand.

‘I would prefer to keep things as they are but won’t hesitate if improvements aren’t made – and soon.’

The defeat to Maidenhead was a fourth in six games for Borough.

Pike left out Mike Gosney and Paul Hinshelwood, while Pompey loanee Nick Awford had to be content with a place on the bench – alongside striker Jack Barton.

And those moves looked good early on when Gosport looked capable of causing an upset against the high-flying Magpies.

Brett Poate, on his return to the side from injury, Jamie Brown and Justin Bennett all went close to opening the scoring.

But gradually the visitors began to show their quality.

And after Mike Malcolm had headed against the woodwork, Reece Lascaris eased a path through, rounded Gosport keeper Nathan Ashmore and rolled the ball home.

Ex-Hawks striker Richard Pacquette spared Borough further misery before the break as he shot over the bar and out of the ground from close range.

But he made up for his gaffe on the hour when he collected a pass from Lascaris and rifled home to end any hopes the hosts had of a comeback.

The Magpies took their foot off the pedal late on.

However, Borough failed to capitalise – an all-too familiar tale for Pike.

He said: ‘I have a snap-shot of the first half-a-dozen performances and none of them have come anywhere near to the standard that would make us a threat at this level.

‘It’s very much the same story – we create plenty of chances, take none of them and end up beaten by sloppy goals.

‘In fact, we never once looked as though we would get back in the match after they took the lead, which is something that needs to put right soon.’

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Woodward, Martin, Dunford, Molyneaux, Poate, Igoe, Brown, Forbes, Bennett, Wooden. Subs: Hinshelwood, Barton, Gosney, Awford, Barfoot

Maidenhead United: Putnins, Behzadi, Solomon, Ahmidi, Nisbet, Ujah, Green, Clifton, Pacquette, Malcolm, Lascaris. Subs: Mendy, Brown, Pook, Ruby, Gilby