Back to the basement for Boro'
Gosport lost their Hampshire Derby 3-0 at Basingstoke Town and returned to the foot of the table after Dunstable won at Banbury.
It wasn't an easy day for Boro' boss Alex Pike to say the least.
In his second game back in the hot seat, his team reached the half way point of their season back on the bottom of the Evo-Stik Southern table after a brace from Callum Bunting and another from Sam Smart condemned them to their 23rd defeat of the season. In addition, many regular Boro' supporters shunned the game leaving just a handful of travelling fans at The Camrose.
Elsewhere, Dunstable stunned Mike Ford's Banbury by winning 2-1 in Oxfordshire to leapfrog Gosport and cut them two points adrift at the bottom. With injuries mounting, it might be fair to say that Alex Pike might just have an uncomfortable moment or two before Boro's next game against Weymouth on New Year's Day.
But the scoreline didn't reflect the full story of the game. Had Conor Davies' early shot not been tipped round the post by Town keeper Colm McAdden then the visitors would have had an early lead and the contest may have taken another path. Matt Mayes was influential in the build up and Davies was released only to see his diagonal shot pushed away by the keeper.
At the other end, Bunting's header was tipped over by Price keeping Boro' level - but not for long. As the heavens opened, Sam Smart forced an opening, squaring the ball for Bunting who slotted home the opener.
Basingstoke manager Terry Brown was forced into an early change as Collier came off injured, allowing former Boro' striker Ben Wright the chance to face his former employers once more.
Today wasn't to be his day as he didnt add to the goals he scored at Privett Park in the reverse fixture. One free kick was deflected away by the wall. Basingstoke were almost gifted a second as an attempted clearance inside their own area by the visitors cannoned off Bunting and almost flew in but swerved away.
Jack Breed lobbed McAdden in first half stoppage time as Gosoprt threatened an equaliser but they went in at the break 1-0 down.
The second half saw the weather worsen and the game slip away from the visitors. Basingstoke were forced into two further changes but this didn't affect them as they extended their lead with 25 minutes remaining.
A clever finish from Sam Smart who slotted home from a tight angle effectively took the game away from Boro'. Liam Hunt was instrumental in the build up. Bunting made it three with Smart again the protagonist. Quarter of an hour remaining and the game had gone.
Worse still was the news that Dunstable were ahead at Banbury meaning that should both results stand, Gosport were heading back into the bottom spot.
Alex Pike wasn't having much luck with injuries either. Matt Morris had gone on as substitute but was soon having to be replaced himself, having sustained a hamstring injury. This in addition to long term absentee Ed Sanders who picked up an injury at St Ives three days earlier.
Jack Breed's goal line clearance prevented the indignity of a fourth goal which would have been scored by Wright. Boro' have six days to take stock and assess their situation ahead of the New Year's meeting with in-form Weymouth.
Whilst it isn't an ideal position for Gosport to end 2017 in, they still have 23 league games in which to save themselves. The fight for survival has only, truly just begun.