Alresford’s former Gosport Borough stars jump off the bench to end US Portsmouth’s cup upset dream

Former Gosport Borough pair Mike Gosney and Craig McAllister prevented US Portsmouth causing a major Wessex League Cup shock tonight.

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 11:20 pm
Craig McAllister, right, netted Alresford's equaliser against US Portsmouth tonight

Travelling to runaway Wessex Premier leaders Alresford, lower division US took a fourth minute lead through James Franklyn.

They still led at the interval - ensuring a worried Alresford boss Richard Luffman brought on Gosney and McAllister at half-time.

Their introduction added fresh impetus - and, more importantly, extra quality - into the hosts who looked a different side in the second half.

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McAllister levelled within 10 minutes of the restart and Gosney struck a 78th minute decider from the penalty spot.

US boss Glenn Turnbull was delighted his side gave ‘a very good account of ourselves’ against an Alresford side eight points clear at the top of the Wessex.

‘This is what we are aiming for,’ he said. ‘We don’t want to be coming here for cup tie, we want to be back here next season in the league.

‘We have come here to play a side top of the Wessex League and who must have a very good chance of winning the title.

‘The players can be happy with their performance. I know they will be disappointed - no-one likes losing - but when they settle down I hope they will take the positives out of that game.

‘We have not looked out of place at all. We have held our own.

‘It shows how well we played in the first half that they made the changes they made at half-time.

‘I wouldn’t say we were a match for them - they have some very good players - but we showed we could hold our own at this level.’

US took an early lead when a quick break saw Cameron Quirke release Franklyn, who slotted past debutant keeper Jordi Wilson, dual signed from Reading City.

US also had a debutant in goal - Max Flintoff - who was rarely troubled during the opening 45 minutes and impressed with his distribution. In addition, Liam Kyle made his US debut as one of the three central defensive players alongside Tom Cain and John Cass.

Following the half-time changes, Alresford levelled when McAllister rose at the far post to nod in from close range.

Referee Andrew Beeney endured a tough evening, managing to annoy both sets of players and management teams at regular intervals, and at times he threatened to lose control of proceedings.

But US could not complain about the penalty he awarded when Cain committed  a reckless foul on Scott Munro - earning a booking in the process - and Gosney sent Flintoff the wrong way.