ALEX PIKE savoured a hard-earned point in Gosport Borough’s 1-1 draw with Hampton & Richmond.
The Borough boss rated their opponents at Privett Park last night the best team he’d seen this season.
Dan Wooden’s spectacular second-half effort cancelled out Jamal Lowe’s strike shortly after he put the visitors in front.
Gosport overcame injuries to TJ Cuthbertson and Brett Poate to pick up a point Pike believed was warranted.
He said: ‘Hampton & Richmond had bags of pace and were very good going forward.
‘Jamal Lowe was outstanding for them and he will almost certainly progress to play at a much higher level.
‘It didn’t help us when we had to change two of our back four, Brett Poate and TJ Cuthbertson, early on because of injury.
‘However we have a great inner belief and confidence after beating Ebbsfleet and carried that on.
‘It would have been a travesty if we had come away with nothing.’
Not surprisingly the hosts fielded an unchanged side after their excellent 1-0 win over title favourites Ebbsfleet at the weekend.
Neither side carved out any clear-cut chances in an even opening spell.
It was Borough who went closest to breaking the deadlock however after eight minutes of the game.
Ben Wright’s shot beat visiting goalkeeper Aaron Howe only to ricochet off the post for a corner.
Jamal Lowe had a great chance for the visitors on the half hour but lifted his shot over the top.
As the interval approached the hosts went close again on two occasions.
Warren Bentley was denied by a last-ditch tackle and when an Aaron Dawson corner clipped the bar the Beavers scrambled the ball away.
Borough goalkeeper Rice was in action again seven minutes into the second period saving well from Brendan Kiernan who shot from inside the area.
Kiernan was through again soon after but was bustled off the ball by Aaron Dawson again inside the Borough box.
The best opportunities continued to fall to the Beavers and they finally made one count in the 66th minute when Lowe put them ahead.
Nicke Kabamba set him up with a cushioned header and Lowe lashed home a 25-yard volley.
Within five minutes though Borough hit back to level the scores with an equally stunning finish from Dan Wooden. The Beavers had the ball in the Borough net two minutes into stoppage time but the effort was ruled out for handball.
BOROUGH: Rice, Cuthbertson, Bird, Carmichael, Poate, Oastler, Dawson, Harding, Wright, Bentley, Wooden. SUBS: Wilde, Lanahan, Pearce, Barron, Bailey.
n Fareham Town fell out of the FA Cup as they went down to a 4-2 defeat to Alresford Town in the first qualifying round replay at Cams Alders.