Gosport miss chance to move closer to Southern League play-offs with Boxing Day stalemate at Blackfield
LEE Molyneaux insisted there ‘wasn’t any negativity in the camp’ despite Gosport Borough dropping more Southern Premier League South points against one of the league’s strugglers.
Borough missed out on the chance to narrow the gap on the teams in the play-off spots yesterday when they were held 0-0 at Blackfield & Langley.The Watersiders started the day seventh bottom, and it was another game - following home draws against bottom three Beaconsfield, Dorchester and Yate - which could come back and haunt Molyneaux at the season’s end.Though Borough are now just two points adrift of fifth-placed Swindon Supermarine, they have played up to three games more than the teams above them.And Salisbury and Poole, who both won yesterday, will leap above Gosport if they win just some of their many games in hand.‘We created enough chances to have won’ said Molyneaux following the goalless stalemate at Gang Warily - a match that provided few memorable moments on an unsurprisingly heavy pitch.‘Our strikers are sat in the dressing room bitterly disappointed that they did not take those chances.‘Yes, it’s two more points dropped but I like to look at form and we’ve only lost once in 14 league games now.‘You could argue we’d have more points if we’d won a couple and then lost a couple rather than all the draws we’ve had.‘But I’m happy with the run we’re on.’Prior to the game, Molyneaux had said the visit to Blackfield ‘won’t be all singing and all dancing’ in terms of entertainment.He wasn’t wrong.‘This is non league football,’ he stated. ‘We had to prepare for the worst. It’s a heavy pitch and in the first half we got sucked into playing too many long balls.‘We were better in the second half. They only threatened us once in the first half and after that we were comfortable at the back.’The nearest Borough came to a first half goal was when home keeper Lewis Noice dived to his right to palm away a Theo Lewis header from Dan Strugnell’s cross at the expense of a corner.In a dull opening 45 minutes, Blackfield should have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time.Striker Hisham Kasimu – 35 goals for Wessex Leaguers Team Solent last season - got in behind centre halves Ryan Woodford and Sam Roberts, latching onto a Mitchell Speechly-Price pass and rounding keeper Ben Dudzinski.Though the angle wasn’t the easiest, it also wasn’t the hardest and Borough were lucky to see Kashimu slice his shot wide of an empty net.Leading marksman Matt Paterson had Borough’s best chance of the second period, Chris Flood playing him in but the striker firing over.Paterson also failed to get a clean connection when a loose ball fell to him inside the box.Gosport’s record scorer, Justin Bennett - dual signed from Wessex Leaguers Bemerton - was among the home subs but never got a chance to inflict harm on his former club.The draw left Gosport possessing a great defensive record - just 18 goals conceded in 22 league games.Remarkably, they have only conceded more than one goal on just three occasions.However, Borough have only scored more than two goals three times.Molyneaux’s side are hard to beat, for sure. But if they are serious about reaching the play-offs, they urgently need to up their scoring rate.