Borough show character in face of Bath barrage

Gosport Borough withstood a second-half barrage from Bath City to claim a 1-0 triumph at Twerton Park.

Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 7:00 am
Rory Williams. Picture: Allan Hutchings (160142-350)

Rory Williams’ first-half strike was the difference in the National League South clash.

But that was only after the hosts virtually camped in Borough’s half for the entire second period.

The victory, which underlined the character of Alex Pike’s squad, will no doubt come as a confidence-booster for the play-off chasing club during uncertain times off the pitch.

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Borough made the trip to Bath without the unavailable George Barker.

Perry Ryan stepped in to take his place in midfield and Brett Poate also returned.

Meanwhile, TJ Cuthbertson showed no lasting damage after aggravating a knee injury in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Oxford City.

In a frenetic opening, both sides struggled to settle.

Ben Harding tried his luck with a diagonal shot from the left which sailed wide and, at the other end, Nathan Ashmore pulled off a fine save from Dave Pratt.

The Bath marksman did well to meet a cross and hit the target with a powerful header but Borough’s keeper more than matched it with a top-drawer stop.

Gosport then went ahead just before the 20-minute mark as Williams let fly from just outside the area and left the Bath keeper floundering as the ball tore into the net.

Frankie Artus had a good chance to level the scores but was denied by another good Ashmore stop.

And with half-time approaching, Gosport almost doubled their lead.

An inswinging corner from Harding found Sam Pearce but the captain’s header was cleared off the line.

Andy Watkins twice went close to equalising as Bath began the second half on the front foot.

Poate then had to use all his experience to head a dangerous cross clear from under his own bar.

Borough survived another goalmouth scramble before Liam Kelly tested Ashmore again.

In a rare chance at the other end, Justin Bennett narrowly failed to get a far-post volley on target.

But Bath quickly resumed their siege on Ashmore’s goal, with the visiting keeper once more denying Kelly.

Much to the dismay of the home fans, Artus was then sent off after clashing with Ryan.

And Borough held on to take all three points.

GOSPORT BOROUGH: Ashmore, Poate, Cuthbertson, King, Woodford, Pearce, Ryan, Harding, Williams (Jerrard, 78min), Bennett, Wilde. Subs not used: Brice, May, Duffin, Hare