Basingstoke mark ‘Good Friday’ in Gosport thrashing

By Connor Steel

BASINGSTOKE TOWN continued their late charge towards the play-off positions with a victory as they hosted Gosport Borough on Good Friday (March 29); comfortably clinching a three-nil win against their local Hampshire rivals after this brilliant home performance in front of over nine hundred supporters at a sunny but windy Winklebury Football Complex.

It was the hosts who adapted quicker to post-storm conditions and created their first chance within five minutes through Liam Ferdinand; the striker heading just over the crossbar from Curtis Angell’s cross. Gosport responded with a shot of their own moments later as Rafa Ramos threaded through Bradley Tarbuck, and the winger fired a high effort off-target.

The hosts were however dominating possession and looked keen to press higher up the pitch, which nearly got a huge reward after seventeen minutes when Danny Hollands lost the ball to Luis Le Paih and he hacked wide from range. An ambitious drive from Paul Hodges then flew narrowly wide of the far bottom corner as Basingstoke were looking on top.

Momentum steadily shifted towards Gosport before the interval as Harry Kavanagh’s perfect delivery was punched into the feet of Ramos, who scuffed a shot wide whilst spinning. Dan Wooden further saw his powerful volley deflected over and Jake Cope nodded wide from this resulting corner under pressure; thus ending a very close and goal-less first half.

Ferdinand went closest for Basingstoke after 47 minutes as he was stopped by the diving right boot of the away keeper Toby Steward, whilst Le Paih saw his rebound effort deflected safely off-target. But the home team took the lead before the hour mark as a slow loss of communication and poor defending allowed Bradley Wilson to guide into the empty net.

A second goal soon arrived for the buoyant hosts after sixty-three minutes when Wilson collected a great ball down the left channel and floated his cross into the dangerous Daniel Rowe; the attacker guiding home a header for 2-0. It could have been three after a flurry of visiting substitutions with Wilson getting through the backline only to be denied quickly.

The encounter was ‘killed’ off in the seventy-eighth minute when Gosport poorly lost possession from a throw-in, which presented a chance for Rowe and the attacker lashed home past Steward for their ‘third’. And this is how it stayed until the end despite good openings for Borough; Ramos being denied by the keeper and Zak Sharp slicing just inches over.

Success means that Basingstoke rise into tenth in the standings and just eight points off the play-offs with one match in hand; whilst Gosport missed their chance to cement second place as Salisbury play on Saturday. A resurrection in form is needed for Joe Lea and Patrick Suraci, before their side host local rivals Winchester City for Easter Monday (April 1).

PICTURED BY THOSE WHITE LINES: Rafa Ramos and Dan Wooden are crowded out by fine Basingstoke defending.