Extra shooting practice fails to pay off as Gosport Borough slump to shock Southern League home defeat

Gosport Borough are nursing a massive new year hangover after slipping to a shock 1-0 defeat against Hartley Wintney at Privett Park.

Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 8:06 pm
Gosport Borough's Marley Ridge in action against Hartley Wintney at Privett Park. Picture: Ian Hargreaves.

Borough boss Lee Molyneaux recognises he has to find a solution to his side’s chronic goalscoring problems sooner rather than later.

Gosport have scored just one goal in their last four games and have struck just 24 times in 23 league outings in 2019/20 - easily the lowest total of any team in the top half of the Southern League Premier South division

Once again, his team paid a heavy price for failing to take their chances as Hartley became the latest lowly side to avoid defeat at Privett Park.

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Gosport Borough's Charlie Davis takes a shot against Hartley Wintney at Privett Park. Picture: Ian Hargreaves.

Molyneaux accepted some of the blame for changing his tactics in the first half.

'Knowing how important it was to win the game, I went with three up front,' he explained.

'It didn't work for us and allowed Hartley to take the game to us.

'I reverted back to a normal formation in the second half and it was much better.

Gosport Borough's Mike Carter in action against Hartley Wintney at Privett Park. Picture: Ian Hargreaves.

'We created enough chances to win more than one game.

'All the extra shooting practice we put in failed to pay off.

'I wouldn't want to change any of the players I have got up front.

'It is just a lack of confidence in front of goal at the moment.

Gosport Borough's Dan Strugnell in action against Hartley Wintney at Privett Park. Picture: Ian Hargreaves.

'Once they score a couple I am sure things will be okay.

'Losing at home means that we have to go and win an extra away game if we are to get where we want to be.'

Borough slip one place to seventh, three points behind fifth-placed Swindon Supermarine - but they have played three games more than their Wiltshire rivals.

Borough would slide down to 10th if the three teams below them won some of their games in hand.

The only goal of the game arrived after only six minutes.

Dean Rule sent the ball across the face of goal and Joseph Grant finished from four yards.

Borough's first opening came soon after with Liam Robinson breaking down the right.

he picked out Charlie Davis whose shot was blocked and cleared.

The home side thought they had equalised five minutes before the break, but Robinson’s joy proved short-lived as his effort was ruled out by an offside flag.

Borough continued to create chances in the second half.

Davis shot narrowly over the bar and Marley Ridge failed to steer the ball in at the back post.

Midway through the half Sam Roberts had to produce a goal-saving block on the line to keep Borough in the game.

One final effort saw Rory Williams break down the left but his shot flew over the bar.