Gosport go fourth and prosper

Dan Wooden grabbed Gosport's second at Redditch
Dan Wooden grabbed Gosport's second at Redditch
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Gosport Borough continued their march up the Southern League premier division table after a 2-0 success at Redditch United last night.

Goals from Rory Williams and Dan Wooden enabled Alex Pike’s men to extend their unbeaten league run to 23 matches – the best form anywhere in the English football pyramid.

The win saw Gosport climb to fourth place and boost their chances for a play-off place.

With a muddy pitch greeting the visitors at the Valley Stadium after prolonged rain throughout the day in the West Midlands, it was Redditch who adapted quickest to the difficult conditions.

Dean Bennett brought the first save from Nathan Ashmore as he pounced after Brett Poate got his feet muddled, allowing Bennett to fire a fierce shot that was straight down the throat of the Borough keeper.

But Gosport began to get a foothold in the game as, firstly, Williams and then Tom Dunford dragged efforts wide from the edge of the area.

Pike’s men stepped up another gear as Dan Woodward found himself space 25 yards from goal before curling a fine effort which was superbly tipped on to the bar by keeper Daniel Platt.

Gosport were eventually rewarded for their pressure when Daniel Smith rolled a neat ball into the feet of Williams who raced clear and calmly side-footed the away side in front on 25 minutes for his 10th goal since rejoining the club from Hamble in January.

The game was held up for several minutes when Redditch captain Alex Hickman had to be taken off on a stretcher with a nasty-looking injury. He was replaced by Hoshane Gabbidon.

Williams had a chance to double Gosport’s lead on the stroke of half-time when he raced through the hosts’ backline before pulling his effort wide of the goal with Platt beaten.

Borough had several chances to double their advantage within the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

Williams wasted the first after some fine play between Dunford and Woodward, who played a defence-splitting pass to Williams, only for the striker to put his effort inches wide.

It was then the impressive Dunford who missed the visitors’ next chance as he pounced on slack Redditch defending but saw his shot blocked by Platt.

Still at 1-0, Gosport were fired a warning on 58 minutes as Leavi Oshungbure latched on to a cross from the left, only for his left-footed effort to go wide.

Woodward almost doubled Borough’s advantage when he headed Igoe’s pinpoint cross goalwards but Platt again kept the ball out by diving at full stretch.

But Platt could do nothing four minutes later as Borough made it 2-0. Dunford was the creator as he danced down the right before cutting back inside and delivering a delicious ball on to the head of Wooden.

That was enough to wrap up another fantastic win, although it was the impressive Platt in the Redditch goal who thwarted Poate late on when he clawed away his free-kick.

Redditch: Platt, Midworth, Flanagan, Hickman, Costello, Bennett, Oshungbure, Richards, Robinson, West, McDonald. Subs: Hylton, Deards, Gabbidon, Hands, Catlow.

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Ashmore, King, Poate, Cook, Woodford, Dunford, Igoe, Smith, Wooden, Williams, Woodward. Subs: Martin, Wilde, Wilson, Bennett,

Norton.