Dunford nets late winner in Petersfield cup clash

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman (170972-31)

Bradbury hails his steely Hawks

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A late Tom Dunford goal saw Gosport Borough edge to a 1-0 Russell-Cotes Cup win over Petersfield Town at Privett Park.

Borough boss Alex Pike was pleased with the exercise and felt his team were good value for the win.

‘I made 11 changes and this was a good game for me,’ said the manager.

‘It gave me the opportunity to give players who haven’t been playing a chance of 90 minutes against good opposition.

‘I was pleased with Ashley Harris who showed his potential at times.

‘He hasn’t played a lot of football and just needs games and someone to believe in him.

‘That is something he will get with us.

‘Overall I thought we were good value for the win and scored an excellent goal.

‘It was a good workout and one or two players staked a claim for our FA Cup tie on Saturday.’

Borough made wholesale changes from the side that drew 1-1 against Eastbourne Borough in the Vanarama Conference South.

Ex-Pompey professional Harris was given his debut and striker Lee Wort made a rare start.

Both teams took time to settle in the strong wind but Wort managed to flash an early shot on the turn over the bar.

Town threatened in the 20th minute when Jack James fired in a dangerous low cross which was cleared in front of goal by Ben Gerring.

The visitors, adopting a patient approach, continued to match and frustrate their hosts.

James and Joe Richardson both tried their luck from long distance without troubling Wayne Shaw in the home goal.

Ed Dryden went close with a header from a corner as Petersfield, prompted by the industrious Richardson, created the better of the chances.

Borough struggled to find any rhythm during a scrappy, disjointed opening 45 minutes which ended goalless.

There was little improvement after the break with Borough playing second fiddle to the Wessex League premier division outfit. Dan Woodward finally tried to liven things up in the home ranks with a shot that flew narrowly past the upright.

With a penalty shootout looming, Borough suddenly snapped out of their lethargy to grab the lead against the run of play.

When Town failed to close down Dunford, the Borough midfielder moved forward to curl a great 25-yard shot past Petersfield keeper Matt Shortt.

Town pushed forward in the closing stages but couldn’t find a way back into the tie.

However, Petersfield’s vice-chairman Graeme Moir was proud of his team’s efforts.

‘We played really well against some very experienced players,’ he said.

‘It was great from our point of view to run them so close.

‘One goal was always going to decide the tight affair and Borough’s little extra bit of quality saw them get it.’

Gosport Borough: Shaw; Molyneaux, Woodward, Benham (Roberts, 53mins), Gerring, Matthews, Saez (Bennett, 61mins), Dunford (Carter, 85mins), Wort, Harris, Wylde

Petersfield Town: Shortt; Archbold, Wain, James, (Essai, 80mins), Dryden, Ford, Richardson, Howes (Read, 70mins), Todd, Hunt, Thompson (Cammack, 87mins)

n The Hawks Academy travel to meet Christchurch at Hurn Bridge in the third round of the FA Youth Cup tomorrow night (7.45pm).