Gosport share the spoils in Plymouth stalemate

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT BOROUGH extended their unbeaten streak to four matches but were dealt further ‘frustration’ as they were forced to share the points with Plymouth Parkway on Saturday afternoon; eventually drawing one-apiece with their mid-table opponents after missing multiple ‘big’ chances in front of seven hundred supporters at a dry but cold AEI Stadium.

It was the hosts who started brightly under overcast skies and saw the first chance after three minutes; Danny Hollands firing a volleyed shot over after Alex Barsa’s effort was blocked into this path. Down the other end a quick flowing move from Plymouth saw a dangerous pass find Reece Thompson, who couldn’t quite turn his shot home from five yards out.

Billie Busari was looking particularly threatening and had his drive saved by away keeper Adam Parkes on twenty-three minutes, whilst a header by Joe Morrison brushed the crossbar after the half hour mark as injuries disrupted all built-up momentum. In response Tom Purrington cut inside and found himself with space, but slashed just wide under pressure.

This deadlock was finally broken after forty-one minutes when Dan Wooden took over a deeper airborne clearance and then ran towards goal; the striker muscling away his markers and calmly slotting inside the bottom corner. But Parkway levelled in added time as Jack Crago received a pass and then sent his absolute thunderbolt drive into the far top right.

Parkway had their opening chance after half time as Crago dragged wide from a tight angle; the home team seeing two individual drives blocked by Shane White and Toby Down in the forty-eighth minute. And even when they broke through the organised defence the hosts were denied by Parkes as the keeper saved Wooden’s diving header off a deep cross.

Borough were pushing after the hour mark with Hollands lashing the crossbar from his volleyed drive, whilst they made substitutions as Harvey Rew and Lucias Vine entered the fray. One of these changes almost had the desired results as Rew got onto the end of Bradley Tarbuck’s delivery after sixty-eight minutes, but this header was somehow tipped over.

Parkes was inspired and further denied another effort by Wooden, before bravely stopping Corey Jordan at the far post on seventy-eight minutes; Vine and Busari also seeing efforts go close in the final moments. And the away team almost clinched three points on the counter attack through Matthew Wright, his low drive denied by Steward in the last chance.

This stalemate means that Borough stay fourth in the standings on 47 points, closing the gap to both Merthyr Town and Salisbury who failed to win this weekend. A very ‘difficult’ run will await for Pat Suraci and Joe Lea as they travel to play Hungerford on Tuesday night before a trip to both Bracknell Town and AFC Totton over two weekends to finish January.

PICTURED BY TOM PHILLIPS: Bradley Tarbuck nods harmlessly over from a fine corner during first half of encounter.