Relief for Catlin as Borough get play-off lifeline

Gosport's Dan Wooden. Picture: Paul Jacobs (13614-4)
Gosport's Dan Wooden. Picture: Paul Jacobs (13614-4)
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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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Mick Catlin revealed his relief after Gosport Borough were thrown a Southern League premier division play-off lifeline.

The Privett Park assistant boss admitted he thought his side had blown their chances with a run of three defeats in four games.

But Barwell’s loss at Weymouth on Saturday opened the door to the promotion battle yet again.

And Borough ensured they took full advantage with a 3-1 triumph over already-relegated Kettering Town.

Gosport’s fate is now firmly back in their own hands.

A victory over Frome Town in their game in hand on Wednesday will see them go into the final day of the season – when St Neots visit Privett Park – in pole position.

‘It is all still to play for,’ said Catlin.

‘We no longer have to rely on other teams – as our fate is in our own hands.

‘It is all we could ask for and now it is down to what we do.

‘We thought we had blown our chances with recent defeats but fortunately Barwell have experienced the same.

‘The pressure of getting into the play-offs can throw up some strange results.

‘We now have a massive game at Frome in midweek.’

Borough went into the game at Kettering knowing they had to win to stay in contention.

It was a potential banana skin as the home side had picked up some surprise results in recent weeks.

But Borough did the business with a professional performance.

Dan Wooden fired them in front after 20 minutes.

He powered the ball into the top corner from inside the area after showing quick feet to earn a yard of space.

Rory Williams then extended their lead on the hour mark.

He raced clear of the Kettering defence before firing a low shot across the keeper and into the far corner.

Within five minutes, though, the visitors were forced to refocus after the home side pulled a goal back.

Borough were caught out by a hopeful ball over the top which sent Will Muzvimbiri clear and he slotted the ball past Nathan Ashmore.

Ashmore then had to produce another save from a long-range effort before Gosport restored their two-goal advantage.

Six minutes from the end, the experienced Sammy Igoe ensured they collected all three vital points with a smart finish.

‘It is a big week for us and we have to concentrate on our own performance,’ said Catlin.

‘Frome are going well and it won’t be easy.

‘We have to go there and make sure we keep doing the right things that have got us into this position.

‘If we can get ourselves into the play-offs then we might fancy our chances.

‘What we have to do is clear. We need to win our last two games.’