Borough overcome arrears to clinch Basingstoke derby

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT BOROUGH produced a superb second half performance as they completed a home comeback victory over Basingstoke Town on Wednesday evening; beating their Hampshire rivals four-one under sunny skies as they added to their one-hundred percent winning streak this campaign despite trailing one-nil for long spells at a packed AEI Stadium.

It was Basingstoke who started brighter and they took the lead after just five minutes; Morrison Hashii playing a perfect pass into George Reid who fired past home goalkeeper Toby Steward inside the bottom corner. And it could have been two shortly afterwards as Hassii seized upon a defensive mistake and shot towards goal; Zak Shap hacking off the line.

Gosport recovered from this scare and saw their first opportunity after thirteen minutes as Harry Kavanagh’s cross was headed wide by Harvey Rew; the midfielder further seeing a shot parried by visiting keeper Mark Scott diving to his left. Straight home chances followed with Dan Wooden and Harvey Laidlaw going close before Charlie Wassmer fired wide.

The visitors seemed to regain control after thirty minutes and furthermore saw the better chances; Danny Rowe’s drive saved by Steward at close range and Scott Armsworth having his effort blocked at source. And Basingstoke saw a last chance before the break as Brad Wilson curled wide from range; this opening sandwiched between two home yellows.

Away dominance continued immediately upon the restart with Hassii cutting inside and seeing his shot brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Steward after forty-seven minutes; Gosport responding with a substitute as Rafa Ramos replaced Laidlaw. And this proved to make an immediate impact as the hosts suddenly levelled up the score just before the hour.

This move began with a tackle in midfield and Kavanagh was released into space down the right wing; the inch perfect cross being smashed into the corner from Dan Wooden to make it 1-1. Gosport were soon ahead on sixty-four minutes as Wassmer cushioned a pass into Rew whose volley nestled inside the left corner and led to joyful home celebrations.

Basingstoke looked shocked and made an attacking double substitution in their hope of equalising quickly; a tactic that was stifled by the home defence despite Wilson firing wide after eighty-two minutes. Instead it was Gosport who added a final flourish in stoppage time with 2 rapid goals; Kavanagh concluding a good move before Rew easily slotted home.

Pat Suraci and Joe Lea will no doubt be delighted with another exciting performance; this latest three points lifting them into second place within the Southern League Premier behind Merthyr Town on “goal difference”. They will look to keep this run going with an away trip to Swindon Supermarine this weekend, before hosting Walton & Hersham a week later.

PICTURED BY TOM PHILLIPS: Gosport celebrate one of eight goals so far this campaign as they get off to great start.