Gosport Borough equalise late on to earn home draw

tephane Bombalenga scored for Gosport Borough in their league win. 'Picture: Keith Woodland
tephane Bombalenga scored for Gosport Borough in their league win. 'Picture: Keith Woodland
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GOSPORT Borough came from behind to force a 1-1 Southern League premier division draw at Privett Park against Merthyr Town.

Corey Jenkins gave the Welsh visitors a 22nd-minute lead.

But Borough snatched a deserved equaliser nine minutes from time when Stephane Bombalenga fired home from inside the area.

The hosts gave debuts to on-loan Eastleigh defender Harvey Read and young striker Ryan Pennery.

Pennery made the surprise move from Moneyfields on Friday afternoon.

Ed Sanders had the home side’s first chance but he blazed wide at the far post.

Yet the Welsh side started the stronger and home goalkeeper Patrick O’Flaherty tipped over a shot from dangerman Ian Traylor.

Craig McAllister was desperately unlucky not to give Borough an 18th minute lead.

The unmarked striker met a cross from the right and his header bounced back off the crossbar.

On 22 minutes the home side fell behind after Merthyr launched an attack down the right.

The ball was crossed in hard and Jenkins volleyed in just under the crossbar.

McAllister sent a header skidding across the face of goal in the opening minutes of the second half.

It was a determined start to the second period by the home side as they looked for an equaliser.

Jo Lea’s ground shot almost squirmed through the goalkeeper’s hands in the treacherous conditions.

A neat combination on the edge of the Borough area ended with Traylor shooting straight at the goalkeeper.

Ashley Evans sent a long-range effort wide at the end of a quick home counter-attack.

On 80 minutes O’Flaherty could only push away a shot from Harry Franklin.

The ball ran loose but Flooks hooked it away from danger.

A minute later Bombalenga equalised with a shot from inside the area that squeezed through the mud and trickled over the line.

Boosted by the goal Borough poured forward looking for a winner, but it would not come.

In stoppage-time O’Flaherty turned a goal bound header over the post.