Pike stung again as Gosport Borough are hit for six

Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike. Picture: Malcolm Wells (160903-0107)
Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike. Picture: Malcolm Wells (160903-0107)
Mark Smith comes close to to scoring for Horndean against Blackfield.  Picture: Keith Woodland

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It has not been the greatest of weeks for Gosport Borough manager Alex Pike.

He was forced to make an unscheduled visit to hospital after being stung by a swarm of wasps.

Painful as that midweek experience was, it came nowhere near the agony caused by a 6-0 National League South home defeat at the hands of Chelmsford City on Saturday.

Borough were taken apart by their high-flying Essex visitors in a disastrous second half.

The crushing loss came at the end of a week in which Pike was also linked with a move to AFC Totton – with rumours rife of further financial difficulties at Privett Park.

Added to the intrigue was the presence at Saturday’s game of a number of potential new investors at the club.

However, it is believed they will only put their money into the club if present chairman Mark Hook agrees to step down.

Pike refused to be drawn on those rumours but admitted he has been in talks with the vice-chairman at Totton.

The fact he is considering leaving the club he loves suggests all is not well at Privett Park.

Pike is not prepared to endure another experience like last season, though.

In the first half of the campaign he built a squad that was challenging for the play-offs. Financial problems, however, led to players leaving and a transfer embargo – which scuppered their promotion ambitions.

‘Last season was not only rough on me but on a lot of other people, too, including my wife,’ said Pike.

‘Family has to come first and if I thought the same will happen again then I would have to sit down and think about it.

‘This club has a lot of potential going forward.

‘My priority at the present time, though, is getting things right on the pitch after Saturday.’

Borough found themselves trailing 1-0 at the break after an even half.

A defensive error from TJ Cuthbertson gifted Chelmsford their goal but – unfortunately – it wasn’t to be Borough’s last blunder at the back.

Three goals in a catastrophic six minutes at the start of the second half sealed their fate.

Borough’s misery was complete when full-back Tom Bird was sent off in the closing minutes.

Pike added: ‘I have to apologise for the way we collapsed like the proverbial pack of cards.

‘As a manager I demand a lot more than that.

‘All their goals came from poor, individual errors, mainly from defenders.

‘We missed Joe Oastler and Aaron Dawson but that was their fault for getting suspended.

‘My priority at the moment is turning this around.’

Gosport Borough: Rice, Cuthbertson, Bird, Carter, Poate, Pearce, Carmichael (Barron, 70min), Harding, Bentley, Wright (Bailey, 70min), Wooden (Wilde, 64min)