IT’s make-or-break time for Gosport & Fareham in London one south.
Director of rugby Mark Wells knows his men must win at Beckenham tomorrow.
The hosts are one place and 11 points ahead of Gosport in the table.
It’s unthinkable for the blue & golds that, if they lose, the gap will increase even further.
‘We have a big two weeks ahead of us and if we can get results against Beckenham and then Cobham we put ourselves back in with a chance,’ said Wells.
‘They are two games where we feel we can target wins.
‘If we manage that, it will put us back in touch and in a position where we can scrap for our lives.
‘Earlier in the season we drew with Beckenham at our place but we were a lot weaker then.
‘Once again, though, we find ourselves crucified by unavailability.
‘That has been our problem all season and we have suffered badly from not being able to put out a consistent side.
‘Last season, when we were promoted, we only used about 25 players but this season we have used over 50 already.’
The visitors are again forced to travel without five players because of work and injuries.
Wayne Dugan, Sam Foster and Jonathan Wood are all working while Toby Woodford and Joey Clark both have knocks.
‘These are all influential players for us,’ said Wells.
Although it is a hugely frustrating blow to miss the players, Wells does see some positives.
Some of the talented youngsters coming through the ranks are getting an opportunity to gain experience on the senior stage.
That applies to talented full-back Tom Lewis, 17, who has been called into the squad to face Beckenham.
He’s been in impressive form for Gosport & Fareham in Hampshire Cup games this season.
Wells believes Lewis is a fine prospect and definitely one for the future.
‘Tom is a quality player, very quick, a great handler of the ball and a goalkicker,’ said Wells.
‘In a Colts game recently he scored 49 points and we have been nurturing him through our system.
‘He could have a big part to play against Beckenham.’
Wells is looking for big games from experienced performers Chris ‘Sumo’ Thompson and captain Ben Madigan.
‘They are our mud monkeys who will make us the hard yards,’ said Wells.
‘A win this weekend will make a huge difference – if we don’t get it, maybe we have to accept that we are not good enough to stay up.’