By Connor Steel
GOSPORT BOROUGH comfortably progressed into the next round of the ‘Portsmouth Senior Cup’ competition as they hosted AFC Portchester on Wednesday evening; beating their local rivals three-one after a hugely competitive game in front of a large crowd at the AEI Stadium with the teams fielding a mixture of young players and experience throughout.
The home side began brightly on a slick surface and they created the opening chance after three minutes through Rafa Ramos down the left; the striker lashing the effort narrowly wide. The former Portchester player then linked up brilliantly with debutant Luscious Vine soon afterwards before forcing a great save by away keeper Steven Mowthorpe to the left.
Portchester were however working themselves into the game and saw their first opportunity on twenty minutes; George Barker brushing the side netting at a tight angle. But the Royals were soon left trailing on the half hour as neat interplay released the lurking Ramos in the penalty area and he made simply no mistake in tapping home into the corner for 1-0.
The away side attempted to respond immediately and should have levelled when Barker’s deep pass was headed over by Izzy Kaba at the far post; Harrison Brook seeing his powerful drive blocked at source by a Gosport defender. And in a last attack before half time a low ball was played into the feet of Matt Paterson whose effort was safely hacked away.
Dave Carter’s outfit continued the momentum upon the restart and saw substitute Scott Jones fire wide under pressure whilst Archie Wilcox nodded wide from a corner on fifty-two minutes. But it was Gosport who scored the second goal of the evening after the hour through Harvey Rew who sent a curled effort inside the far top corner with a wonderful finish.
To their credit, Portchester never gave up and reduced their arrears on sixty-five minutes as Kaba reacted quickest to a rebound from Jones’ shot in the area; Ryan Wilkins going close to equalising moments later with an effort that flew over the bar. The away side further had huge penalty appeals turned down as substitutions and injuries signalled a breather.
Brook then saw a huge chance to equalise after eighty-three minutes when he cut inside on the wing and sent a curling effort inches wide of the opposite corner; which proved a decisive miss as Gosport made it 3-1 sixty seconds later. This came from a defensive error that was seized upon by Ramos; the striker firing home in the last notable action of the tie.
Borough now have a ten day break due to Hungerford’s participation in the FA Trophy on Saturday afternoon; meaning the next match will see them host Swindon Supermarine next weekend. Meanwhile the Royals are due to play another local derby in the form of Baffins Milton Rovers this Saturday as they look to bounce back from two successive defeats.
PICTURED BY NATHAN LIPSHAM: Home player attempts to hold ball away from Portchester defender in local match.