Gosport must not slip up on ‘huge banana skin’

Tom Lewis scores for Gosport against Trojans. Picture: Roger Smith
Tom Lewis scores for Gosport against Trojans. Picture: Roger Smith
Havant full-back Ben Chambers. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (181102-1)

Knight: Havant will not lack motivation at CS Rugby

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Scott Ashley has warned his unbeaten Gosport & Fareham troops not to get complacent as they travel to Effingham & Leatherhead tomorrow.

Ashley insists the relegation-battling hosts will pose a threat if his team are not on their game.

They must ensure they do not let up in their bid to secure the London one south title.

Effingham & Leatherhead are battling hard to improve their position in the table.

They are coming into the match off the back of an important win last time out.

And Gosport, who beat Trojans on Saturday, must be wary.

Ashley said: ‘Our opponents are fighting for their lives and that makes them dangerous.

‘We were in the same position last season so know from personal experience how difficult they can make it.

‘They had a good win last week and that will also have boosted their confidence.

‘It is a huge banana skin but we have to make sure we don’t slip-up.

‘We are in pole position with just six games left and don’t want to lose our advantage.’

The visitors will start the game as firm favourites and it will be a huge upset if the Surrey side deprive them of their unbeaten record.

Meanwhile, Locks Heath Pumas entertain league-leaders Petersfield, who will make their first-ever visit to Brookfield School in Hampshire two (2pm).

Third-placed Pumas are excited by the prospect.

They have the chance to blow the title race wide open.

‘It is a venture into the unknown for Petersfield and we must look to use this to our advantage,’ said coach Jim Pearce.

‘Our only league defeat at home this season came against Fawley and we were very disappointed with this.

‘We took our foot off the gas in the last 10 minutes and let them back into the game.

‘Still, we have put that behind us.

‘Petersfield are a well-drilled side with big, physical forwards and backs who are more than competent, well marshalled by club stalwart Derek Eldridge.

‘Trying to find areas of weakness to exploit will be difficult so we will need to seize any opportunity we get.

‘They are fortunate to have played in recent weeks. However, the weather has not been favourable to us – our last competitive game having been against Stoneham in mid-December.

‘When we played Petersfield earlier in the season we played well and could have nicked it at the end.’

It’s been an impressive season so far for the Pumas.

They are making great forward strides but there is still room for improvement.

Pearce added: ‘As a squad, the Pumas have improved massively over the season but, occasionally, lacked the final blow when we have teams on the ropes.

‘We cannot afford to do that in this game.

‘We knew at the start of the season that Petersfield would be a good side, having come down a level, and they are proving that.

‘Our aim is to keep up the pressure on the top two sides so each week is like a cup game for us.

‘We know that we are capable of causing some surprises.’