Gosport make play-offs

Rory Williams gave Gosport the breakthrough before half-time

Rory Williams gave Gosport the breakthrough before half-time

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Gosport Borough have made the Southern League premier division play-offs after a 1-0 victory over St Neots Town.

Rory Williams’ winner - along with Barwell’s 1-1 draw at home to Frome - meant Borough squeezed into the play-offs on the final day of the regular season.

That has set up a one-leg semi-final away to Stourbridge on Tuesday night.

Borough should have taken an early lead when Sammy Igoe burst clear along the line. His inch-perfect cross fell to Dan Wooden who somehow managed to sky the ball over from six yards.

The glaring miss was so nearly punished at the other end as sloppy marking let in Lewis Hilliard who brought a low, sprawling save from Nathan Ashmore at his near post.

The Saints were looking the more likely to take the lead as everything Gosport tried broke down in the final third of the pitch.

Igoe did well to beat the St Neots rearguard with a ball over the top to Williams, who looked odds-on to open the score but he wasted his chance by allowing keeper Jack Giddens to race out and snatch the ball from his feet.

On 44 minutes, though, Borough broke the deadlock. It was route-one style as Ashmore’s huge clearance was helped on by Wooden and Dan Woodward and, this time, Williams made no mistake, holding off his marker to round the keeper and blast a shot into the net.

The match was far from won, though, and for the opening stages of the second half it took some excellent no-nonsense defending from Luke King and Jamie Brown to keep the St Neots forwards at bay.

Gosport managed to get their act together and saw Williams go close on two occasions.

Igoe’s creative skills then had St Neots struggling again as the former Pompey midfielder delivered a cross under pressure and Brown parried in a header that Giddens did well to pluck from under his crossbar.

Moments later, Wooden’s persistence enabled him to cross for Adam Wilde whose shot matched his surname as the ball flew over the bar and out of the ground.

Fortunately for Borough their slender lead was enough to give them the victory they required, with St Neots having little left in terms of desire or ability to muster an equaliser.

Southern League premier division

GOSPORT BOROUGH 1 (Williams)

ST NEOTS TOWN 0

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, King, Martin, Woodward, Molyneaux, Brown, Igoe, Smith, Wooden, Williams, Wilde. Subs: Bennett, Wilson, Kirby, Poate, Ender.

St Neots Town: Giddens, Meech, Lee, Davies, Sharman, Hoyte, Hilliard, Konadu, Koranteng, Wood, Laudon. Subs: Asante, Werndley, Enkinga, Conroy.

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