Borough wounded after feisty Poole league encounter

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT BOROUGH succumbed to a second successive home defeat in four days as they hosted mangerless rivals Poole Town in a rearranged fixture on Wednesday evening; eventually losing two-one against the ‘Dolphins’ following a closely-fought and feisty encounter that yielded two red cards in front of a massive gate of 800 fans at the AEI Stadium.

The visitors adapted quickly under misty skies and created the first chance after four minutes through Jake Scrimshaw; the striker firing wide before the offside flag was raised. Poole went even closer on 11 minutes when Toby Holmes hit a drive into the side netting after great movement, whilst Jake Cope trickled wide down the other end on the quarter hour.

Joe Morrison was booked for ‘obstructing a clearance’ and this appeared to spark Gosport into action with Rafa Ramos flashing narrowly past the far post. The striker then forced a brilliant diving stop by Poole keeper Max Evans after being picked out by Corey Jordan in space on twenty-four minutes; whilst Cope and Danny Hollands went close for the hosts.

But all home momentum was suddenly halted in a match changing moment after 33 minutes as Borough were reduced to ten men; Morrison being shown his second yellow card for a needless tackle. And the away team took full advantage before the break when Holmes ran through the defence before easily firing the effort over Toby Steward into the corner.

Poole appeared to grow in ‘confidence’ upon the second half restart and made it two-nil in the fifty-second minute when Wes Fogden’s brilliant cross found Scrimshaw; who volleyed into the right corner from the angle. But Gosport did halve their deficit when Bradley Tarbuck curled towards goal and the shot hit Dan Wooden’s knee before nestling past Evans.

Substitutions then followed across both teams after the hour mark as the hosts pushed for their equaliser; Harvey Rew firing over the bar and clearing the ‘yellow bus’ before Rory Williams rocketed his promising set piece into the wall. But Poole still looked great on the counter and almost made it three-one on 73 minutes with Billy Lowes slicing over a shot.

To their credit Poole did limit the opportunities during the final stages despite Borough dominating the ball; the only real chance seeing Ramos narrowly fail to connect with a flick header on 86 minutes. Game management tactics sadly only added to frustrations and Harvey White was shown red in stoppage time for two yellows after a ‘late foul’ by Zak Sharp.

The latest defeat represents a missed opportunity after their loss versus Beaconsfield and they sit third in the Southern League with 10 games left to play this season. The ‘run-in’ starts with a visit to Hayes & Yeading on Saturday afternoon (09/03) before they host Harrow Borough next weekend; Brockenhurst visiting the AEI for a ‘cup quarter final’ on 13/03.

PICTURED BY IAN MIDDLEBROOK: Toby Holmes prepares to cut inside before netting Poole opener on Wednesday.