Borough secure semi-final place in Moneyfields win

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT BOROUGH guaranteed their semi-final place in the Portsmouth Senior Cup as they hosted Moneyfields on Wednesday evening; comfortably beating their local opponents three-nil with a professional home performance despite multiple personnel changes across the teams and heavy downpours in front of a respectable crowd at the AEI Stadium.

The visitors began brightly on a slick outfield and could have scored after ten minutes when Maxwell Allen played a fine ball across the area to find James Franklyn; the attacker forcing a good diving stop from home keeper Callum Smart. It was followed by a half chance for Lawrence Cooper as he received a pass minutes later but he dragged the drive wide.

These wasted opportunities were soon punished by Borough on fiftteen minutes when Rafa Ramos easily collected the ball in midfield and advanced towards goal, beating the Moneyfields defence before rifling home for one-nil. Tom Jeffes tried to equalise with a high effort that landed in the car park and Kian Towse found Ramos to fire over on the half hour.

Moneyfields were looking threatening and saw Elliott Turbull fire his promising set-piece into the wall from 25 yards out, before Jeffes had a header cleared off the line on thirty-eight minutes. The home team did weather the storm and could have doubled their early lead in added time when Harvey Rew found Sam Hookey, whose low drive hit the side netting.

Both sides resumed slowly upon the second half and it took a ‘mistake’ to fully spark into life; Smart hitting a bad ball to Franklyn who somehow missed from a tight angle on 51 minutes. And again the home team took full advantage as they added a second goal minutes later when Ramos sent his drive towards goal; the ball taking a deflection into the corner.

Substitutions followed from both teams with bad tackles seeing Zak Sharp and the away keeper booked by the officials in quick succession; debutant Ben Sharpe slicing wide a corner for Moneyfields after a lull. Down the other end Antonio Diaz linked up well with Towse on the wing but the former’s effort was dragged over with ‘much better options’ in space.

Proceedings seemed to drift towards the natural conclusion with little opportunities in the final moments; an effort being well saved by the away keeper before Gosport added their third and final score on 86 minutes. It came as Alfie Stanley ran into the box unchallenged and calmly converted at the keeper’s far post; making it three-nil at the end of the match.

Borough must wait for 3 other quarter finals to be played before they learn next opponents but will hope to ‘reclaim’ the trophy won in 2021-22. Attention however must turn towards league action with two huge games coming up across the next week as they host Beaconsfield on Saturday afternoon before playing Poole Town on Wednesday night (March 6).

PICTURED BY DAVE BODYMORE: Alfie Stanley has a shot on target as home side guarantee cup semi-final position.