CARL Bennett has been appointed Alex Pike’s right-hand man at Evo-Stik South Premier strugglers Gosport Borough after parting company with Whitchurch United.

The Bitterne-based former Romsey Town boss had been in charge at Whitchurch since the summer of 2014.

He guided the Jam Boys to sixth in the Sydenhams Premier Division in his first season – their highest ever Wessex finish - but leaves them 13th in Division One.

“Carl is Southampton-based and has a wealth of knowledge of football in the local area and the Wessex League, something I want to tap into,” Pike explained.

Also new in at Privett Park are central defender Nathan Walker, returning for a second spell with Borough from Pike’s former club Hamworthy United, and ex-Sholing right-back Corey Cherrett from Whitchurch.

Influential in their signings was Jay Keating, who is also back in the Gosport fold after a spell in charge at Totton & Eling.

Both new players are available for tomorrow’s (Monday, 3pm) big home test against third-placed Weymouth who boast the league’s top scorer in 17-goal former AFC Bournemouth youngster Brandon Goodship.

Whitchurch, meanwhile, have acted swiftly to replace Bennett.

Glyn Cherrett is the new man at the Longmeadow helm, supported by coaches Damian Hack and Tita Martins.

Cherrett is a familiar face in Wessex/Southern League circles, having previously worked with Winchester City, Folland Sports and Brockenhurst. He became Bennett’s assistant at Whitchurch at the start of this season.

His first game in charge is away at Verwood Town on Saturday.

A Whitchurch United FC statement said: “The club would like to place on record our thanks to Carl for his hard work and commitment during his term as Wessex League team manager. We wish him all the best for the future.”