High-flying Gosport wary of dangers below

Gosport & Fareham's Tom Lewis
Gosport & Fareham's Tom Lewis
Havant full-back Ben Chambers. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (181102-1)

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High-riding Gosport & Fareham will need to be wary of lowly Effingham & Leatherhead in their London two south west clash at Gosport Park.

The unbeaten home side will start as firm favourites but the visitors will arrive with an extra spring in their step after picking up their first win.

Top-three side Tottonians were the victims and Gosport’s head coach, Scott Ashley, doesn’t want his side to become another surprise scalp.

‘Nobody predicted Effingham’s win last weekend so we will need to be careful,’ said Ashley.

‘That win will give them more confidence and only serve to make them more dangerous.

‘It is up to us to make sure that we deal with it.

‘Hopefully, we have learned our lessons from last season when we lost games we should have won – notably at Old Colfeians – and ended up being relegated.

‘We don’t want to make any slip-ups this time around.

‘Although we have won all our games, our last two performances have been far from convincing. We have made life difficult for ourselves and it is difficult to figure out why.

‘Maybe it’s a reaction after raising our game for the big local derby win over Portsmouth.’

Despite making hard work of their past two wins, Gosport still managed to pick up the important bonus points on offer.

Ashley is looking for them to do the same again to maintain the pressure on league leaders Guildford, who head the table on points scored difference.

The home side, however, have to manage with two of their brightest young prospects – full-back Tom Lewis and back-row forward Sam Shepherd.

The two youngsters are in Jersey with the Hampshire under-18 squad.

‘It is a great honour for the lads and the club,’ said Ashley.

‘I feel our squad has a lot more depth this season and their absence will give others a chance to come in and stake their claim.

‘There is a lot more consistency in our organisation both on and off the pitch.’