Borough announce ‘friendly’ Portsmouth derby

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT BOROUGH FC have announced they will be hosting a friendly encounter versus their fierce local rivals Portsmouth later next month; the highly anticipated tie forming a part of their 2023/24 Southern League preparations alongside representing a “first look” at the squad under Pat Suraci and Lea’s joint management.

This match is scheduled to take place on Friday, July 14 with a 7pm kick off from the AEI Stadium; both sides hoping for a huge crowd as seen in previous games between the two. Six hundred fans saw Portsmouth seal a four-nil victory back in September 2020; whilst over 1,000 supporters attended Gosport’s tight win last July.

Borough have confirmed that ticket information will be made available in due course with demands expected to be high; further teasing a range of sponsorship opportunities for supporters and local businesses. Anyone who is interested can contact the club by emailing to discuss a mix of packages.

Further pre-season encounters are set to be announced over the coming days with local games against both Fareham and AFC Portchester potentially to be organised. These games will allow their joint management to finalise plans for the opening fixtures of the Southern League, which is scheduled to formally begin on 05/08.

Allocations for each division were released earlier this week with Gosport staying within the Premier Division South alongside twenty-one other sides. Yate and Hartley Wintney were both relegated whilst Met Police are dropping a division voluntarily; meaning that Harrow Barrow gained a reprieve to stay at the step three level.

Weston-super-Mare and Truro City were both promoted to the ‘National League South’ with Hungerford Town dropping down. North Leigh were replaced by Didcot Town whilst all of Sholing, Basingstoke, AFC Totton and Walton & Hersham complete this full list. This means that every team will feature in 42 league games overall.

PICTURED BY TOM PHILLIPS: Gosport players celebrate scoring a goal versus Portsmouth last year as the two teams are set to clash in pre-season game; this local tie due to take place on July 14 at the AEI Stadium.