Mick Catlin fears the worst for Gosport Borough as it looks increasingly unlikely the National League will allow them to register new players in time for Thursday’s deadline.
The Privett Park outfit decided not to send representatives to a hearing on Thursday, as reported in The News on Saturday.
Chairman Mark Hook chose instead to make a written submission on the state of the club’s off-field problems – which included an upaid tax bill and sizeable backlog on wages.
He has yet to hear back, though, and after Borough’s 2-0 defeat to Sutton United on Saturday, he lashed out at the league on local radio.
Hook accused them of being ‘hell bent on destroying this club’ and suggested ‘they don’t want to see us get into the play-offs’.
The league were not the only ones to be castigated by the chairman.
He said George Barker and Andy Robinson, who have left the club and signed for the Hawks, were ‘perhaps a good fit’ for the Westleigh Park outfit because they ‘couldn’t hack being where they were’.
Hooks insists the remaining players are 100-per-cent behind the club’s plan to get back on track, although Perry Ryan’s omission from Saturday’s squad sparked speculation over his future.
He also said there are four players waiting in the wings to boost numbers.
But Catlin reckons they may not get the chance.
After Saturday’s defeat – a third on the bounce in National League South, the assistant manager said: ‘We only have 12 senior players left at the club and the rest are young kids.
‘We had 17-year-old Connor May in the side and central defender Sam Pearce playing up front.
‘Connor is going to be a good player but he was up against a Sutton side full of experience and it showed.
‘Justin Bennett is the only recognised forward, so we had no choice but to move Pearce up there.
‘If we start to pick up any injuries we will be in big trouble
‘All we can do is soldier on and hope it gets resolved.
‘There are rumours the embargo might be lifted in time but it seems highly unlikely.’
Borough did not help themselves on Saturday, as they missed a penalty that was awarded after just 45 seconds.
Bennett was felled but then fired his spot-kick wide.
The home side went behind on 18 minutes through a terrific Ross Stearn strike.
Sutton doubled their lead before half-time and only a string of excellent saves by George Legg, including an outstanding point-blank block from Jamie Slabber, kept the score down.
‘We have games against Whitehawk and Basingstoke Town over Easter and they are both winnable,’ said Catlin.
‘If we can win four of our remaining games we might still sneak into the play-offs.
‘But at the moment this is derailing our hopes.’
Gosport Borough: Legg, Cuthbertson, Poate, Carter, Woodford, Pearce (Gerrard, 85min), Wooden (Wilde, 66min), May (Hoare, 66min), Harding, Williams, Bennett