Stalemate at Kings Langley puts further dent in Gosport Borough's fading play-off hopes - but boss Shaun Gale reiterates positive standpoint on top-five finish

Gosport Borough boss Shaun Gale is still harbouring hopes of his men securing a Southern League Premier South play-off finish this season - despite more dropped points in their stalemate at strugglers Kings Langley.

By Lewis Mason
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 3:54 pm
Gosport Borough defender Ryan Woodford tries an acrobatic effort in the stalemate at Kings Langley Picture: Tom Phillips
Gosport Borough defender Ryan Woodford tries an acrobatic effort in the stalemate at Kings Langley Picture: Tom Phillips

Boro failed to find a way through a determined Langley side in the 0-0 draw in Hertfordshire to make it two games without victory following on from their home defeat at the hands of Taunton Town last time out.

At this crunch stage of the season, it was a match Gosport desperately needed to win to remain right in the hunt for a top-five finish.

As it was, Gale's troops are now nine points off fifth-placed Weston-super-Mare - currently in the final play-off place - with only four games to go.

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Gosport Borough's Bradley Tarbuck, left, is beaten to the ball by onrushing Kings Langley goalkeeper Alfie Marriott Picture: Tom Phillips

Yet with Weston to come at Privett Park next weekend, along with fixtures on the road at sixth-placed Chesham and Yate Town - in seventh - in the final run-in, the Boro boss says getting in the play-offs still remains a possibility for his men.

Gale insisted: ‘It's disappointing but we have to still take the positives that we are still in the hunt (for the play-offs), albeit (it's going to be) very, very difficult, we're still in it.

‘I'm not going to get negative, some people might, that's entirely up to them. For me, as the manager, I'll make sure the players are having a right go until the end, every game.

‘We're making big strides, let's not forget that, because it's very easy to go back to where it was - 100-odd people watching the game, no-one in the bar. We've got to 800 in the ground (this season), fantastic support this season, people are enjoying.

‘It is about trying to get out of the division, of course it is, but there's a bigger picture as well.’

Brighton loanee goalkeeper Fynn Talley, returning to the Boro starting line up after missing out last weekend having tested positive for Covid-19, had to pull off a few saves over the course of the 90 minutes.

While at the other end, Ryan Woodford, Dan Wooden and Matt Paterson had opportunities but were all unable to make the crucial breakthrough.

And there was one area which particularly frustrated Gale from his players in the draw at third-bottom Kings Langley. He added: ‘I haven't questioned my team ever throughout the season for a lack of effort and things like that and I can't question that yesterday.

‘On a very difficult, bumpy pitch, we tried to get it down and play. Listen, they're desperate to stay up, so we knew it wasn't going to be easy.

'My biggest disappointment was that we didn't do enough with the ball in the final third. When we had a couple of opportunities, we didn't seize on them, with some wrong choices.

‘I think for the first time yesterday, a couple of players decided to have their worst games for us, in the respect of - not for a lack of effort - but just choices again.’