Pike stays positive after Borough are held

Justin Bennett. Picture: Paul Jacobs (133298-10)
Justin Bennett. Picture: Paul Jacobs (133298-10)
Jason Prior. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Justin Bennett was a whisker away from snatching victory for Gosport Borough against Weston-super-Mare at Privett Park last night.

The substitute hit the post in the dying seconds of the Skrill South clash as the home side were held to a 0-0 draw.

But Borough boss Alex Pike was not too downbeat after the final whistle with his side continuing to inch towards safety.

‘We had two chances to win the game but it just wasn’t meant to be,’ he said.

‘Weston are one of the better sides in the league but we have managed to take four points out of six from them, so I can’t be too downbeat.

‘Our current league form is the second best in the division.

‘And that is tribute to the players and how well they have worked with the squad rotation.

‘You can see the confidence growing from the goalkeeper right through to the strikers.’

Pike made five changes to the side who beat Farnborough on Tuesday.

Borough looked the more dangerous in the opening five minutes – Brett Poate linking up well with Mike Gosney to cause problems in the Weston defence.

However, the hosts were not able to carve out any chances.

Then on 25 minutes, the ball fell to Gosney on the edge of the Weston box.

His neat knock-down found Jamie Brown but the skipper’s first-time cross was inches away from striker Tim Sills – and a Gosport opener.

Borough keeper Nathan Ashmore proved he was still alert at the other end when he saved from Bradley Ash after a series of corners.

But as the half closed, it was the hosts who were once again piling on the pressure.

Poate found Dan Woodward, whose first-time volley skewed just wide.

And moments before the break, a mis-hit cross from Woodward clipped the top of the bar with Weston keeper Luke Purnell beaten.

Ashley Kington fired just wide for the visitors just after the interval – before Martin Solcombe brought the best out of Ashmore.

Tom Dunford then ballooned a shot over the top before Pike made a triple substitution – introducing Andy Forbes, Bennett and Dan Wooden.

And the trio made an instant impact. Forbes teed up Dunford, whose cross was almost poked home by Brown before a Wooden corner found Sam Pearce only for his ferocious shot to be blocked.

Borough pushed on right to the end when Wooden played a perfectly-weighted ball through to Bennett.

But under pressure from Ollie Knowles, he could only smash his shot against the base of the post.

‘Bringing on all three in one hit showed we wanted all three points,’ said the boss.

‘Justin (Bennett) has won us quite a few points this season, he was just unfortunately this time around.’

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Poate, Brown, Richardson, Pearce, Woodward, Dunford, Sills, Gosney, Wilde. Subs: Bennett, Carmichael, Scott, Forbes, Wooden