Basement side in town on Saturday

BLUES will look to bounce back after their 5-0 home hammering against Banbury United when they host basement side Gosport Borough, on Saturday.

Boss Kevin Watson will welcome back skipper Mark Hughes after suspension and will be hoping that Marvel Ekpiteta and Josh Simpson can return from injury to bring some experience to his young squad.

However there seems little chance that Dipo Akinyemi will pull on a Stortford shirt in January after getting injured while training at his parent club Stevenage.

Gosport will arrive at the ProKit (UK) Stadium rock bottom of the Evo-Stik South Premier table with just seven points from 26 games and appear to be in a straight fight with Dunstable Town to avoid the single relegation spot.

A brace of goals from Tyrique Hyde and a Hughes strike gave Blues a 3-1 win when they travelled to Privett Park in October.

Both Blues and Borough were relegated from the National League South last season, but while Stortford have stabilised and despite the loss against Banbury seeing them drop to 20th place they have a ten-point cushion over the sides immediately below them, Gosport have endured a torrid season and are in danger of a second straight relegation.

Boss Alex Pike quit shortly after they had gone out of the FA Cup against Swindon Supermarine and after a brief spell under caretaker Danny Thompson, Mike Catlin took the job.

But a takeover at the Hampshire club saw Pike return only to see Catlin quit when he was informed he was now joint manager.

Pike has brought in strikers Craig McAllister and Joel Jackson in the last fortnight but his side have lost their last two games 5-0 and have failed to score in six league matches – conceding 20 goals during that period.