By Connor Steel
GOSPORT BOROUGH were left ultimately frustrated on their return to league action as they was held to a two all draw by Dorchester Town at the AEI Stadium on Wednesday night (October 11); the hosts chucking away a ‘two goal lead’ in the final minutes of an entertaining encounter that was watched by over six hundred fans despite the wet surroundings.
It was a sluggish start with both teams seemingly content in a midfield battle that yielded little attacking output; the first notable chance coming on fourteen minutes when Jordan Ngalo’s low drive was saved by Toby Steward at his left post. This was followed up by an effort from both Shaq Gwengwe and Will Spetch but neither was enough to test the keeper.
Gosport seemed to gain confidence after weathering the early ‘pressure’ and arguably should have opened the scoring after twenty-six minutes; fine interplay concluding in Dave Tarpey slashing over the crossbar. The striker then collected a great pass and cut inside, but saw his powerful goal-bound effort brilliantly cleared off the line by Drew Eccott-Young.
Dorchester responded well and almost capitalised on a slight error as Charlie Wassmer’s sliding pass fell to Gwengwe; his shot going wide of the post before Ngalo saw his effort blocked at source. There was also loud appeals for an away penalty on forty-three minutes when Alex Moyse went down in the area; the referee turning this down before the break.
The home outfit seemed energised upon the restart and saw a series of half chances in quick succession; Harvey Rew forcing away keeper Adam Forster into a good save before Dan Wooden narrowly missed a fine pass. But they weren’t rueing missed opportunities as Bradley Tarbuck collected the ball inside the area and buried low into the corner for 1-0.
Things soon worsened for Dorchester on sixty eight minutes when Gosport won a penalty following a foul; captain Rory Williams empathically rocketing home inside the top right corner. This made it two nil to the hosts and it may have been three as Rafa Ramos dragged over from an angle shortly afterwards; both teams making many changes to signal a lull.
Proceedings suddenly awoke after 86 minutes when substitute Lewis Waterfield won the ball fairly in midfield and used this space to lash past Steward from over twenty-five yards to send nerves around the stadium. And Gosport fell to this intense pressure in added time when Oliver Haste netted an late leveller; reacting fastest to a scramble to steal a point.
This draw maintains Borough’s current status as league leaders but there will be growing concern about the home side conceding late equalisers; particularly after their ties versus Welling and Salisbury. Joe Lea and Patrick Suraci will look to return to winning ways this weekend as they travel to Salisbury in the league before hosting Tiverton Town on 21/10.
PICTURED BY PHILLIP STANDFIELD: Away players prepare for joyful celebrations after bundling home a late leveller.