Pike: Time is running out for Gosport Borough

Ryan Pennery in action for Gosport Borough against Stratford. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Ryan Pennery in action for Gosport Borough against Stratford. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
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Alex Pike admitted time is running out for Gosport Borough in their bid to avoid relegation from the Southern League premier division.

Borough suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Stratford Town at Privett Park on Saturday.

The result stretched their winless run to 14 games and saw them slip closer to the trap door.

Matters were not helped by relegation rivals Dunstable Town picking up a point at Dorchester Town.

Borough are now four points adrift of safety with two games in hand.

The two sides meet at Dunstable next weekend as the survival scrap intensifies.

Stratford were nothing more than ordinary at Privett Park on Saturday but Borough were guilty of a very flat performance.

It wasn’t until the final 15 minutes that Pike’s side showed any signs of the passion and urgency they need to escape the drop.

Pressure is mounting on Pike and his team to get things right.

‘We are running out of games,’ said the boss.

‘I can’t help the players in dealing with the pressure, that is something they have to handle themselves.

‘The indications are we are looking more solid, more compact and harder to beat.

‘It was disappointing, though, that we didn’t carry much of a goal threat going forward.

‘Stratford played with a diamond in midfield in the first half and that caused us a little bit of trouble.

‘I thought we came to grips with that in the second half, though.

‘We pushed higher up the pitch and I felt it worked.

‘Yet the goal we conceded, from our point of view, was again a sloppy one.’

The opening half was a largely-forgettable affair with neither team capable of carving out any clear-cut chances.

Borough lacked a presence in midfield to drive them forward.

And as a result they spent a large part of the first period on the back foot.

The decisive goal arrived four minutes after the break and once again Pike felt his team shot themselves in the foot.

‘We had a free-kick but put it into the area behind everybody,’ said the Borough boss.

‘Stratford cleared the ball down to our area where we had two chances to get it clear.

‘Instead we slashed at things and they end up scoring.

‘That was very disappointing for me and we have to learn the lessons from it.’