Pike stamps out complacency

Brett Poate
Brett Poate
Jason Prior, centre. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Bradbury’s pride as Hawks clinch big win

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Alex Pike is keen to quickly stamp out the complacency he saw creeping into Gosport Borough’s FA Cup scare.

Borough were 2-0 up and cruising as Matt Paterson and Justin Bennett put them in command at Larkhall Athletic on Saturday, only to see their second round qualifying lead wiped out.

And although substitute Steve Ramsey looked like he had won the game for Borough, they were dragged back to a 3-3 draw in stoppage-time.

Pike was raging at his side’s attitude but admits it could have been even worse, with the Bath-based Southern League outfit wasting a late chance to win it.

As a result, the Borough boss has hinted he will swing the axe for tonight’s replay at Privett Park as he warned against thinking the lower league club have had their one chance at causing an upset.

Pike said: ‘At 2-0 up, the players thought they had won the game.

‘That’s what they told me themselves when I questioned them in no uncertain terms afterwards.

‘I have got some very experienced players in that side and they should know how to close a game out.

‘They didn’t need to go bombing forward looking for a third and fourth goal.

‘There is a fine balance between attack and defence, especially when you are 2-0 up against a team that hadn’t really threatened.

‘But we can’t go into it thinking “they have had their one chance”.

‘That is the complacency that my players have got to avoid. That attitude on Saturday was not acceptable.

‘We’ve already been shown that they are dangerous. The players have seen them first hand now and know exactly what to expect.’

While Borough should have had the tie wrapped up, Pike was also relieved it had not been a disastrous exit.

He said: ‘Their goalkeeper made four outstanding saves. One of them was a brilliant point-blank header from Matt Paterson.

‘On another day those chances we created would have gone in and we would have won convincingly.

‘But they also put one over the bar in the last minute and it could have been even worse. We could have gone out, even though that would have been very harsh.’

While Pike was less than happy with his side’s defensive showing, he felt the loss of Brett Poate’s experience was a big miss.

Poate will be absent for the second game of his three-match ban tonight.

And Pike admits he is contemplating giving others the chance to stake a claim.

He said: ‘I’m not making excuses but Brett Poate was suspended and I’m sure he would have made a difference in that game.

‘I had to play my right-back (Andy Forbes) at centre-half and we had to have a bit of a reshuffle with Dan Woodward coming in at right-back.

‘I had players on the bench and if I was one of those players, I would be thinking “I must have a chance now”.

‘I have got a squad of 20 players and they all want to play. I trust them all to do well or they wouldn’t be at the club.

‘I think they could all come in and do a job.’

If Borough come through the replay, they will face a trip to Vanarama South rivals Maidenhead United, while Hawks will travel to Ryman Premier outfit Wingate & Finchley.

Ties will be played on October 11.