By Connor Steel
LOCAL NON-LEAGUE action returned earlier this weekend as Gosport Borough and AFC Portchester kicked off their pre-season campaigns with successful run-outs but varying results; Shaun Gale’s men comfortably beating new club affiliates Petersfield Town on Friday evening (July 1) and Dave Carter’s team drawing three-apiece in a thriller against higher league Lymington at Test Park on Saturday afternoon.
Petersfield Town 0-4 Gosport Borough
Proceedings started slowly at Love Lane with a natural sense of rustiness amongst the two teams, although Gosport were the better side and took the lead on the half-hour as ‘Trialist’ finished a fine flowing move with a guided shot in the bottom corner. This lead was doubled with fifteen minutes left following a mass of pre-season substitutions for both sides; Jake Wright heading home a well-worked corner down the right side.
In the eighty-fourth minute Gosport made it three-nil and sealed the victory as the young winger Billie Busari showed brilliant footwork cutting in, before firing a rocket into the top corner leaving the Petersfield keeper no chance. And the visitors added the gloss in stoppage time as Petersfield tired; another debut trialist scoring a header from a highly accurate looping cross with the last notable action of the evening making it a 4-0 score.
Lymington Town 3-3 AFC Portchester
New signing Brett Pitman announced himself to his new club by scoring two penalties in the first half on debut, which were dispatched with experienced aplomb past the Lymington keeper at Test Park. But the Royals were pegged back by their opponents from the Southern League as Freddie Bullard reduced the arrears converting a low cross from the right, making it 2-1 to the visitors at the interval in this early kick-off.
George Barker scored the third Portchester goal in the second half as both teams used the opportunity to experiment and make changes across their line ups. But the goal-scoring wasn’t complete as Harrison Cable found space to convert a low cross past the away goalkeeper, before Callum Stratton equalised for the hosts with a find finish as the game finished three-apiece between two hard-working and ambitious team displays.
Fleetlands FC and Fareham Town FC are due to open their pre-season campaigns on Tuesday night (July 5); with the Coptermen scheduled to play Wessex League Premier challengers Horndean at the Powder Monkey Stadium, Lederle Lane (7.15pm kick-off). Meanwhile the Creeksiders will make the short trip to the 3G surface at HMS Temeraire in Portsmouth, where they are due to face a Royal Navy outfit from 7:45pm.
Later this afternoon (July 3) Gosport Borough will be hosting local rivals Portsmouth FC; with a large crowd of over 1,500 supporters expected to attend the ‘Super Sunday Derby’ that kicks off at 3pm. The Gosport & Fareham Globe will be in attendance at Privett Park for the game and will be writing a special match report for this encounter, which is set to pave the way for further games against Eastleigh and Lymington Town.
PICTURED BY DANIEL HASWELL: Brett Pitman converts one of his two penalties versus Lymington Town FC.