Borough continue winning streak in Didcot trashing

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT BOROUGH completed their third successive league victory and clean sheet as they travelled to ‘strugglers’ Didcot Town on Saturday afternoon; comfortably thrashing the relegation-threatened opponents four-nil after this highly professional “Non-League Day” performance in front of over three hundred supporters at a dry Loop Meadow Stadium.

The home outfit started quickly and created their first opportunity after five minutes as Jack Alexander’s delivery landed perfectly onto the head of Luke Carnell, whose effort stung the left hand of away keeper Toby Steward. Another chance fell for Didcot moments later as Harvey Fox lashed over a corner, before Jake Cope saw his curling shot narrowly wide.

Borough were steadily working themselves into a position of control and saw Rafa Ramos’ shot blocked at source after fifteen minutes; whilst Dan Wooden sliced wide his angled drive from a cross. But Didcot still threatened on the counter attack with Cameron McNeill going close with his shot from the left and a floating free kick that ultimately fell to nothing.

The half hour mark passed without further incident and it was going to take a moment of quality to break this dead-lock, which came on forty minutes when Ramos broke through brilliantly and rocketed in the goal past Paul Strudley. Scores could have been level at the interval as Fox tried to take advantage of Steward’s slip but took too long with the attempt.

Didcot resumed brightly upon the restart with Adam Leoroyd throwing his left leg at a corner to little avail and Benjamin Putland skidding a shot into the gloves of Steward on fifty-one minutes. These misses were soon punished by Gosport before the hour when Ramos collected a pass and ran forward into space; the Portugal attacker rifling home for two-nil.

Substitutions followed across both teams after the big second goal and it lead to a lengthy lull in the encounter; the two defences seemingly dominating despite multiple attacks and set piece opportunities. Didcot’s last notable chance came in the 86th minute as Samuel Barber fizzed his shot over with the tie evidently drifting towards an inevitable conclusion.

But Gosport were not finished and took advantage of tiring legs when Antonio Diaz easily ran into the area before then curling home a third away goal; marking his return from injury in style. And it was four-nil in the last minute of stoppage time as Ramos sealed a brilliant hat-trick beating Strudley with the low effort; increasing goal difference in this process.

These three points mean that Gosport ‘leapfrog’ Salisbury into second place in the Southern Premier after 35 matches; their rivals losing one nil away at Dorchester. Managers Joe Lea and Patrick Suraci will now be looking at their crucial Easter weekend with two huge Hampshire derbies; first visiting Basingstoke before then hosting Winchester on April 1.

PICTURED BY DIDCOT TOWN: Rafa Ramos runs forward in the build-up to first Borough goal, setting tone for this tie.