Gosport hope new year is a ray of light after dark days

Dan Wooden netted for Gosport against Basingstoke before the lights went out. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (133643-1)
Dan Wooden netted for Gosport against Basingstoke before the lights went out. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133643-1)
AFC Portchester cruised to victory. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Gosport Borough will be hoping for a change of fortune in the new year – both on and off the pitch.

Floodlight failure on Saturday prematurely ended a dark week for the club.

It came with Gosport 1-0 up against Basingstoke Town – thanks to Dan Wooden’s goal – and forced the match to be abandoned.

Just days after storm damage to the clubhouse and the defeat at the Hawks it was another hefty blow.

Half the Privett Park pitch was plunged into semi ­darkness, four minutes after the break, when the floodlights on the Harry Mizen Stand side of the ground failed.

Despite the best efforts to get the lights and the game restarted, referee Andy Laver was forced to call a halt to the contest after a 35-minute delay.

The situation left Gosport chairman Mark Hook frustrated.

He said: ‘I’m absolutely gutted. A goal up, playing well in front of a good crowd and this happens.

‘Unfortunately, it’s not something we could control. We’ve had an electrician check the four columns on that side of the ground and there doesn’t appear to be a problem with any of them.

‘It seems that the issue is between the main feed and the first floodlight column.

‘Frustrating – but there’s little we could do.

‘Everyone has put a massive effort into ensuring the game went ahead and the clubhouse was open.

‘We had people in on Christmas Eve and from Boxing Day, clearing up the mess to make sure everything was ready in the club.

‘And the ground staff and a few hardy volunteers were working on the pitch from 8am.’

Nathan Asmore was the busier of the keepers as Basingstoke dominated the early stages.

Twice he was at his best to deny Louis Soares and Adam Green.

Then Green missed the best Basingstoke chance when he could only hit the side netting with just the Gosport keeper to beat.

Having weathered the early pressure, the home side began to create chances of their own, particularly through Tom Dunford’s good work down the left flank.

It was from Dunford’s cross that they eventually took the lead a minute before the break.

Wooden got a touch to glance the ball into the top corner.

It looked as though the goal was going to set up an intriguing second half.

But the lights had gone out and the Gosport faithful were left wondering just when their luck would change.