Former Bournemouth and Burnley midfielder Brian Stock receives praise after being tempted out of retirement to feature for Gosport Borough

Lee Molyneaux praised the contribution of debut-making Brian Stock as Gosport Borough recorded an impressive 3-2 Southern League Premier South win at high-flying Tiverton Town.

Sunday, 1st December 2019, 3:02 pm
Updated Sunday, 1st December 2019, 4:20 pm
Brian Stock in action for Havant & Waterlooville. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170062-1)

The 37-year-old former Welsh international, who is coaching at AFC Bournemouth, was tempted out of retirement by a phone call from his former Hawks team-mate.

Stock agreed to help Borough out and Molyneaux felt the quality of the ex-Bournemouth, Doncaster and Burnley midfielder gave the whole team a big lift.

‘I frequently talk with Brian and I found myself only able to field two substitutes for the Tiverton trip,’ said Molyneaux.

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‘That was enough to tempt him to kick a ball again.

‘It was all a last-minute thing and clearance to play him didn't come through until Saturday morning.

‘His presence gave a lift to everyone, particularly after our FA Trophy game in midweek went to extra-time.

‘Brian gave us an air of calmness and quality on the ball.

‘It remains to be seen if he wants to keep playing and what sort of commitment he can make.

‘That is a conversation I will be having with him.

‘The players knew they would have to dig deep against a team second in the league.

‘They did that on a pitch which was one of the worst we will play on.

‘It was boggy, treacherous underfoot and very heavy.’

Borough lived dangerously early on as Jordan Bastin volleyed wide when presented with an open goal and captain River Allen blasted a penalty over the bar on 14 minutes.

Borough would take full advantage and two minutes later grabbed the lead.

Debutant Stock's free-kick was only partially cleared and Charlie Kennedy curled home his shot via the inside of the post.

The visitors doubled their lead on 20 minutes with Rory Williams scoring for a second successive game.

Stock, who hasn't played since the middle of last season, was withdrawn after 65 minutes.

Sam Argent headed Borough's third on 74 minutes before Borough's midweek FA Trophy exertions began to take their toll and Tiverton scored twice to set up a nervous finale.

‘After Brian went off we started to lose our shape as a team,’ said Molyneaux.

‘We had our backs to the wall but managed to see the game out.’

The victory moves Borough up to sixth, just three points adrift of the play-off places.

They have now only lost one of their last nine league matches, winning six of those.