Mick Catlin has paid tribute to Brett Poate after Gosport Borough forced a 1-1 draw at Stourbridge in the premier division of the Southern League on Saturday.
After falling behind early in the second half, Borough looked to be heading for defeat against the 10 men of Stourbridge.
That was until Poate rallied his troops.
The Gosport skipper delivered a superb ball for Justin Bennett’s 75th-minute equaliser before returning to his defensive duties to ensure his side held out for a point.
And Alex Pike’s assistant manager was delighted with Poate’s display.
‘Brett is a vocal leader out on the pitch and when the going gets tough he organises the team,’ said Catlin.
‘When we fell behind a few of the lads started feeling sorry for themselves.
‘Brett picked them up and got them playing again.
‘Not many players at our level would have been capable of the pass he made for Justin’s goal.
‘He curled it beautifully around the defenders, enabling Justin to run off their shoulder and score.
‘We tell our younger players to learn from experienced players like Brett.
‘He conducts himself well both on and off the pitch and is a fine example to them all.’
Borough goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore pulled off a few important saves in a goalless first half that saw the visitors defending up the slope.
The game seemed to swing in Borough’s favour midway through the half when their fourth-placed hosts were reduced to 10 men.
Paul Lloyd appeared to kick out in retaliation at Jamie Brown and was shown a straight red card.
‘We thought we could come out and take charge playing down the slope in the second half,’ said Catlin.
‘But Stourbridge are not fourth for nothing and they are one of the best teams we have played.’
On 56 minutes Borough found themselves behind when Luke Benbow scored with a neat finish.
Fifteen minutes from time Bennett finally got his reward for an afternoon of hard graft up front.
He escaped from his defenders to latch onto Poate’s superb pass and scored with a low shot.
Borough then had Dan Woodward sent off at the death for a second bookable offence but it did not ruin Catlin’s day.
‘You have to be happy with a point away from home against fourth in the league,’ he said.
‘We have only lost once away so far this season.
‘If we can keep picking up away points and start winning our home games we won’t be far wrong.’
n Bognor’s trip to Cray Wanderers in Ryman League premier yesterday was postponed.