Williams tasked with keeping goals coming

Gosport Borough striker Rory Williams
Gosport Borough striker Rory Williams
Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Alex Pike has challenged Rory Williams to maintain his blistering form.

The Gosport Borough striker scored a brilliant hat-trick in the 3-0 win at Staines on Saturday to add to the double he struck in his previous outing – the Hampshire Senior Cup semi-final defeat to Basingstoke.

And with Borough and the Hawks set to renew their rivalry from the recent FA Trophy last-four showdown tonight in the Skrill South at Privett Park, Pike is looking for his in-form striker to pick up where he left off.

Pike said: ‘I told all of my strikers I wanted them to take the bull by the horns and find some form – and he certainly has.

‘It’s five goals in one-and-a-half games up front.

‘He’s had a slight hamstring problem as well, so he got his hat-trick and it was an ideal time to take him off just before the hour-mark at Staines.

‘Hopefully, he’s fresh for the game tonight and full of confidence.

‘It wasn’t a criticism of Rory (to find form) – it was to all of the strikers that we hadn’t scored enough goals.

‘As we all know, Tim Sills has hit form in cup games.

‘But it wasn’t that long ago that we had only scored 14 goals and our strikers had only scored six of them.

‘It wasn’t good enough. I needed someone to step up to the plate.

‘I was waiting for someone to come through and Rory has. But now it’s up to him to keep it going.’

While Borough profited from a five-man midfield in their semi-final clashes with Lee Bradbury’s side, Pike is keen to revert to a two-man strikeforce that worked so well at Staines.

He said: ‘A lot of people want me to play one up front but they don’t understand football.

‘If you play one up top, the ball keeps coming back.

‘That’s alright if you want to play a boring brand of football.

‘So I will go my route and will not do what other people want me to do.’

Borough’s survival hopes were given a major boost at the weekend and if they can follow it up with a second successive victory over the Hawks, they will be well on the way to meeting their manager’s points target as they bid to clamber out of relegation trouble.

‘Before the Staines game, I told the players I wanted 10 points out of the next 15,’ said Pike.

‘We’re well on the way with three already.

‘It would give us a major boost if we can win this one going into Maidenhead on Thursday and Boreham Wood on Saturday.

‘But I think if we could get 10 points, it would take us out of the bottom three by the time we got to Wembley and give everyone a big lift.’

Pike has also boosted his ranks with the loan acquisition of highly-rated young Reading defender Jack Kerrigan, who could go straight into the side, with Brett Poate and Jamie Brown both suspended.

The Borough boss said: ‘I’ve been wary of taking youngsters to play at this level.

‘But Tony Stares and Sam Pearce have watched him and said he’s exceptional.

‘He is young and hungry and will hopefully do well for us.

‘He’s a talented left-back and I’m looking for him to give us something different.’