Gosport prepare for crucial fortnight

Coach Scott Ashley believes the next fortnight will prove crucial to their season
Coach Scott Ashley believes the next fortnight will prove crucial to their season
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Director of rugby Scott Ashley believes the next fortnight can prove crucial in Gosport & Fareham’s London one south ambitions.

League newcomers Charlton Park visit Gosport Park tomorrow (1.45pm), with a titanic local derby at Havant to follow in a week’s time.

And Ashley has stressed the importance of making the most of their final home game before Christmas to pick up vital points.

‘This is a huge game for us and we need to get our hands on as many points as we can,’ said Ashley.

‘It is important that we pick up our momentum – not only for our league position but also ahead of the big game at Havant.

‘Things didn’t go to plan at Sidcup last week and we need to rectify that.

‘Our away form hasn’t been anywhere near good enough in the first half of the season which makes the home games all the more important.’

Ashley’s team have been far more impressive in front of their home fans and the coach is looking for that to continue.

The one area the home side need to improve on, though, is their defence.

Ashley is aware that his team are conceding too many points and need to be stronger in that area.

‘You can score as many points as you like but, if you are shipping them at the same rate, then they won’t count for anything,’ said Ashley.

‘We have to make sure we start games properly and don’t leave ourselves with too much to do.

‘Results in our league show there is not a lot of difference between teams at the top and bottom of the league.

‘It is a very unpredictable league and I have not seen one like it before.

‘Every point counts in this situation and you cannot take any games for granted.

‘Against Charlton Park we have to get out of the blocks early and maintain the tempo throughout the whole game.’

The home side give a senior debut to navy under-23 captain Ed Pascoe in the second row.

Fareham Heathens travel to Farnborough in Hampshire one.

Meanwhile, unbeaten Hampshire two leaders Locks Heath Pumas have some special guests attending their top-of-the-table home clash against Chineham.

Two of the club’s ambassadors, world strongman competitor Rob Frampton and actress Emma Barton, will be on the touchline cheering the team on.

Barton is best known for her role as Honey Mitchell in EastEnders and has starred in a number of West End shows.

Coach Jim Pearce is expecting another tough test after edging to a narrow win at Ventnor last week.

‘We are looking to pick up another win and stretch our lead at the top,’ said Pearce.

Winger Damien Sambrook is a doubt due to illness, while leading try-scorer Stuart Forbes switches back to the wing.