Resurgent Gosport told to not throw away lifeline

Matt Flower is an injury doubt for Gosport & Fareham this weekend
Matt Flower is an injury doubt for Gosport & Fareham this weekend
Steve Cruddas will start for Havant. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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No more slip-ups.

That’s the message from Gosport & Fareham coach Scott Ashley ahead of his side’s London one south encounter at Old Colfeians.

The league’s basement club are yet to win a game this season and Ashley knows it will be a disaster if his side are the first to lose to them.

Ashley is hoping for nothing less than a bonus-point win to maintain Gosport & Fareham’s recent momentum and keep their survival hopes alive.

Three weeks ago, Gosport looked dead and buried and favourites to occupy the third relegation spot.

But two terrific home wins – Cobham (25-10) and Sidcup (28-15) – has seen a complete turnaround to haul Gosport to within four points of closest-rivals Havant.

Cobham and Beckenham are also now within Gosport’s sights who have restored their belief in staying up.

‘It has taken a lot of hard work and effort to get ourselves back into this position and we must not throw that away,’ said Ashley.

‘Although Old Colfeians are still without a win, we need to make sure we pay them respect.

‘If we just turn up thinking it is going to be a stroll, things can easily go wrong and we will end up losing.

‘Over the past couple of weeks we have built up some momentum and we have to keep that going.’

Gosport & Fareham have injury worries over Matt Flower, Trevor Westerman, Nathan Titchener and Ben Madigan but are hopeful all will be fit to travel.

Toby Woodford is a definite casualty with a wrist problem.

Two consecutive wins have boosted the confidence in the Gosport camp and Ashley has been impressed by the attitude of his players.

‘I couldn’t have asked any more from my players in very difficult conditions last week,’ said Ashley.

‘We have put our tendency to start games slowly behind us and against Sidcup we were firing throughout the game.

‘The players showed they have the desire to stay in this league and have got us into a position where it is possible.’

Gosport have shown they can produce the goods in front of their own passionate Gosport Park crowd.

Now they have to reproduce the same form on their travels – and their coach has every faith they can do it.

‘I passionately believe we are good enough to stay in this league,’ said Ashley.

‘Our two bonus-point wins against teams above us shows that.

‘There is a greater belief amongst the players now that they can pull it off.

‘What we musn’t do is slip up against teams below us, starting against Old Colfeians.’

Gosport & Fareham (from): Duncombe, Heron, Burns, Madigan, Roberts, Thompson, Dai Whitehead, O’Donoghue, Goddard, Cleary, Jones, Clark, Field, Josh Whitehead, McRoberts, Flower, Smith, Titchener, Thorne, Westerman, Wes Dugan.