Borough set standards high for Concord visit

Experienced Gosport Borough midfielder Sammy Igoe
Experienced Gosport Borough midfielder Sammy Igoe
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Gosport Borough are looking to provide manager Alex Pike with the perfect tonic by beating Concord Rangers in their first-round FA Trophy tie at Privett Park.

Pike has been in bed ill for the past couple of days but hopes to recover in time to witness Borough’s latest test.

The manager and his assistant, Mick Catlin, were both highly encouraged by their side’s 2-0 Skrill South win over Staines Town in midweek.

Catlin believes that win, which lifted Borough off the bottom of the table, can give the players the confidence to progress in the Trophy.

‘We rolled our sleeves up and showed a great determination to beat Staines,’ said Catlin.

‘After our defeat at Farnborough, and with other results going against us last weekend, it would have been easy to feel sorry for ourselves.

‘Importantly, the players showed the necessary resolve to put all that behind them.

‘Now we must do the same again to beat Concord who are in our league.’

It is the first time the two sides have met, with both being promoted from their respected leagues last season.

In their past two games the Essex side have won 1-0 at Staines and smashed Farnborough 5-0 in midweek.

They are likely to prove difficult opponents and Borough will need to build on their second-half performance against Staines.

During those 45 minutes Borough showed a lot of commitment and, by the end, fully deserved their win.

They grafted for each other and took their chances when they came along.

At the back, Borough looked solid enough, after goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore produced a superb double save which proved to be the turning point of the game.

Surviving in Skrill South remains the priority for Borough but Catlin believes a good run in the Trophy can help in that.

‘Winning games can become a habit and that is what we are aiming for,’ said Catlin.

‘We don’t view the Trophy as a distraction.

‘There are the financial awards to consider and we are keen to go as far as we can in the competition.

‘We would love to go through and draw one of the Conference Premier big boys in the next round.’

Midweek goalscoring hero Ian Richardson is cup-tied from his time at Bashley but Borough have the option of drafting in either Brett Poate or Lee Molyneaux on their return from injury.

The experienced figure of Sammy Igoe is also available again after a rib injury.

‘We need to build up some consistency by winning back-to-back games,’ said Catlin.

Gosport: Ashmore, Woodward, Poate, Pearce, Forbes, Brown, Molyneaux, Dunford, Smith, Sills, Bennett, Gosney, Igoe, Wooden, Williams, Wilde, Barfoot