By Connor Steel
GOSPORT BOROUGH succumbed to their third successive Southern League home loss as they hosted Met Police, putting in a disappointing performance as they lost two-nil following a largely physical match at Privett Park on Saturday afternoon. And it was a deserved victory for the visitors who completed a double over Mark Moseley’s side this campaign as they scored across both halves; further stopping the hosts from scoring with a stubborn and drilled defence led display as Borough failed to build on victory versus North Leigh last week.
Under overcast skies it was Met Police who started better and created the first opportunity after nine minutes when a dangerous free kick by Oliver Knight was played into the area to reach Harry Taylor whose drive was blocked at source. Herson Rodrigues-Alves then showed his pacey attributes with a sprint down the right but saw an effort brush the side-netting minutes later; Gosport responding well as debutant Alfie Sanders floated a cross into Dan Wooden on 14 minutes and his hooked shot skidded over with keeper Liam Beach helpless.
A cagey start continued with an injury stoppage as Bernard Tanner received some treatment for a knee issue with Gosport coming into the game with some steady possession; Noa Boutin’s deep delivery being narrowly missed by the onrushing Harvey Rew at the near posts on twenty-four minutes. Met Police then saw another opening with Alex Fisher’s cross being headed wide by Jasper Mather at the back stick before Knight calmly collected a through ball and saw his side footed effort stopped by the diving home keeper Patrick O’Flaherty.
Proceedings seemed to open up before the half time interval with the hosts having great possession and this gave them a platform to attack as they won a free kick in a threatening position; Harvey Rew’s delivery being met by Danny Hollands who missed his free header from eight yards out. And this spurned chance was soon punished when Met Police took the lead in the forty-sixth minute as winger Kwaku Frimpong ran inside down the left and sent a powerful rocket into the top right corner past the scrambling O’Flaherty to loud admiration.
Gosport started brightly upon the restart as George Hunt broke through on goal but dragged his shot into the gloves of Beach, who further saved a backwards header from Dan Wooden in the fifty-third minute. Hollands then calmly dispossessed a static Met Police defender and advanced forward to find Boutin who’s cross was calmly blocked by Barnard Tanner in the penalty area as the home side continued to knock on the door; their attacking approach leaving space in-between the defence that was nearly exploited as Frimpong curled over.
Frustrations appeared to multiply for the home side when Borough gave away an avoidable free kick and this is how they nearly equalised just after the hour mark when Kyal Williams was fouled; Rory Williams placing a set piece over the crossbar from twenty yards at an angle. Finley Walsh-Smith was booked for a harsh tackle on Luke Robertson with the officials also warning Matt Briggs and Noa Boutin as the sides seemed to handle each other in a midfield battle; substitutions adding to this lull as proceedings drifted beyond the 75th minute.
It rapidly became clear that any second goal was going to be huge and the visitors claimed it with eleven left to play on the clock with a piece of magic; Conor Lee advancing forwards and finely beating 2 tackles before sending his curling shot past O’Flaherty inside the bottom left corner for a two-nil advantage. This absolutely knocked the stuffing out of the AEI Stadium but the hosts never gave up despite their inevitable defeat; all of Billie Busari, Brett Williams and Abdulai Baggie going close with shots in the eight minutes of stoppage time.
Having lost their brush with the law Gosport remain just above the relegation zone with 33 points from thirty-one matches so far this campaign following other results on Saturday. But the recent scoring record must be a concern with just two league goals in February including three successive home blanks as they play rivals Salisbury on March 11 in their upcoming scheduled match at Privett Park; first contesting two away matches with trips to Dorchester Town on March 4 and Plymouth Parkway just three days later in a crucial six pointer.
PICTURED BY TOM PHILLIPS: George Hunt and Kyal Williams challenge away defender as the home team struggle to break down Met Police, who punish their missed opportunities to easily win two-nil at Privett Park.