Gosport hold on to beat high-fliers

Dan Wooden scored for Gosport with a 45-yard lob

Dan Wooden scored for Gosport with a 45-yard lob

Lee Bradbury has led the Hawks to the Ryman League premier division title and promotion to National League South. Picture: Mick Young

Hawks clinch promotion as Borough are relegated

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Gosport gave their survival hopes a huge boost with a fine 3-2 win at high-flying St Neots Town.

Despite Borough struggling at the wrong end of the table and their hosts sitting third going into the clash, three goals in the first half proved enough to give Alex Pike’s team three welcome points.

In a frenetic opening to the match, Borough opened the scoring on three minutes when Justin Bennett’s shot was saved by Michael Duggan, but Dunford was on hand to tap home the rebound.

Gosport’s lead lasted just 30 seconds, though, as Ed Adjei escaped down the right and centred to Dan Jacob who slotted in at far post.

But great thinking from Wooden had Pike’s men back in front on 19 minutes. Spotting Duggan was out of position, the Gosport forward produced a cheeky lob from all of 45 yards which found its way into the net.

And more woe for St Neots keeper ensured the visitors went into the break with a two-goal cushion.

When Duggan tried to claim a cross and got nowhere near it, Bennett was brought down by Adjei in the penalty area, leaving Wilde to smash home from the resultant penalty.

St Neots were given a lifeline after the break with a penalty of their own after Brett Poate was penalised for a foul.

But Nathan Ashmore saved Ben Mackey’s spot-kick to keep the score at 3-1.

Mackey was given a second chance on 70 minutes after Gosport were penalised for a handball and - despite being asked to take it again because of encroachment - he made no mistake to reduce the deficit to a single goal.

Gosport held their nerve, though, and - after Dunford hit the bar and Wooden had an effort cleared off the line - they collected the three points.

Southern League premier division

ST NEOTS TOWN 2 (Jacob)

GOSPORT BOROUGH 3 (Dunford, Wooden, Wilde)

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