By Jon Couch
GOSPORT Borough chairman Ian Sellstrom admits it was “very difficult decision” to part company with manager Alex Pike after 12 years in charge – especially with memories of the club’s finest hour still fresh in his mind.
Pike has paid the price for a wretched start to Borough’s new Evo-Stik Southern Premier season, which has seen them lose their opening seven league matches and crash out of the FA Cup at home to South West side Swindon Supermarine on Saturday.
Since joining the Privett Park club in December 2005, Pike has earned legendary status, taking the club from the Wessex League to the Conference South for the first time in the club’s history in 2013.
And the club’s finest hour came in March 2014 when Pike led them to the FA Trophy Final at Wembley, where they were beaten 4-0 by Cambridge United.
Since then, however, fortunes have reversed on the south coast with Gosport eventually losing their National League status last season.
With a new, youthful squad, a turnaround was anticipated but with Borough finding themselves pointless and rock bottom of the table, the decision to call the end of Pike’s long reign was made on Monday morning.
Sellstrom said “This has been a very difficult decision given Alex’s loyalty to the club over the past 12 years.
“I have very much enjoyed working with Alex since I took office but it is my duty to put the clubs long-term interests first as my primary consideration.
“Everyone connected with Gosport Borough should recognise the effort and commitment Alex has brought to his role as Manager of this special club.”
Assistant manager Danny Thompson will take temporary control of football matters whilst the board begins the process of finding a permanent replacement.