Pike: We’re not that far off

Dan Woodward
Dan Woodward
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike believes his Skrill South strugglers can avoid the drop, with the help of some new blood expected at Privett Park in the coming days.

A 2-1 derby defeat at Eastleigh on Saturday saw Borough suffer their 11th loss of the season, as they remain second from bottom in the table – level on points with rock-bottom Dorchester.

But with 24 matches still to play and Pike’s side having games in hand on those directly above them, the manager remains confident they can get out of trouble.

And with Borough hoping to add to their ranks before their trip to Weston-super-Mare on Saturday, Pike believes he’ll finally have the right blend at his disposal to survive their debut season at this level.

‘We are battling for our league survival on all fronts and are not far away from coming to places like Eastleigh and earning ourselves something for our efforts,’ said Pike.

‘The point is I know what’s needed and that is some fresh faces who can deliver.

‘By next week another couple of lads will be joining us who, hopefully, will take more of the chances we create.

‘There is a long way to go.

‘The season for us hasn’t reached the halfway stage in terms of the fixtures we have yet to play.

‘I have a squad of players strong enough – with a couple of additions – to help us climb the league table to safety.’

That extra bit of quality was needed on Saturday as Eastleigh strolled to victory at the Silverlake stadium, despite the close scoreline.

On a pitch that was only just playable following painstaking efforts of groundstaff to drain the overnight rain from the playing surface, Borough managed just a couple of serious efforts on goal in the entire 90 minutes.

And with better finishing from the hosts’ Craig McAllister and Jai Reason, the home side could have made the final scoreline far more convincing.

McAllister opened the scoring on eight minutes with a lob over Borough keeper Nathan Ashmore to suggest second-placed Eastleigh were about to open the floodgates.

But Sammy Igoe had other ideas and his superb run and cross presented Danny Smith with a glorious chance that hit the crossbar.

To their credit, Borough defended well for the remainder of the first half but crumbled at the start of the second.

They were spared, though, when McAllister fired into the side netting, before Reason hit the upright.

Ben Stevens, however, made no mistake on 70 minutes to double Eastleigh’s lead.

Substitute Dan Woodward took advantage of some sloppy defending to reduce the deficit and give Borough some unlikely hope.

But it proved nothing more than a consolation goal as Eastleigh recorded their 14th win of the season.