Sometimes, there can be such a thing as too much honesty. Speaking to the Portsmouth News at the end of last month, Alex Pike, manager of National League South side Gosport Borough had a comment which seemed to speak volumes about the condition of his club at the moment. “The chairman has got us into this mess and I trust he will get us out of this mess,” Pike said in a moment of refreshing candour, but the condition in which his club his finds itself at the moment is a matter of concern to supporters as one of non-league football’s success stories of the last two or three years threatens to unravel that will feel wearyingly familiar to seasoned watchers of the game at this level.
Gosport Borough have been here before. Founded in 1944, the club rose to the Premier division of the Southern League – which was then, unlike now, a division below the Conference – before plummeting down to the Wessex League in the early 1990s. It took a long time for the club to get back on its feet. Promoted back to the Southern League Division One South & West in 2007, the club seemed to have found its level despite sponsorship problems brought about by the economic downturn of the following year, before two successive promotions in 2013 and 2014 took it into the National League South, the same level of the game that the club had reached during its last successful spell in the late 1980s.
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