Ipswich goalkeeping prospect one of three new signings handed first run-outs in Gosport Borough's thrilling opening-day win over Poole Town
Shaun Gale saluted Gosport Borough's spirit and character as they struck twice in second half stoppage-time to claim a thrilling 4-3 opening-day Southern League Premier South success over Poole.
In what proved to be a pulsating afternoon of action watched by 429 fans at Privett Park, Boro blew a two-goal advantage to trail 3-2 with six minutes left before efforts at the last from Dan Wooden and Bradley Tarbuck saw the hosts emerge victorious at Privett Park.
Gale acknowledged his team will have to make plenty of improvements as the season progresses, but he highlighted the character displayed from his squad to battle back to claim all three points.
The Boro boss, who used three new signings made in advance of the game with Ipswich Town loanee goalkeeper Bert White, Nick Dembele and the returning Theo Lewis all featuring against Poole, said: ‘You look back on it, there’s a lot of learning to be done on it, but at the end of the day it’s about getting three points.
‘Credit to the lads, as I said to them afterwards, there is a lot to discuss but the character was there.
‘I’ve said it all along, we’ve got a good spirit in the camp and that showed yesterday in abundance. Hopefully, going forward, we don’t know when we’re beaten.
‘If that doesn’t bring the fans back, we had a really good crowd in yesterday, it was good all-round and entertainment value.’
Gale could not have asked for a better start to the season as Boro found themselves 2-0 in front inside 20 minutes.
Tarbuck fired home Gosport's first goal of the campaign after seven minutes before Lewis - signed in the build-up to the game having left Privett Park to join Hungerford earlier in the summer - headed home 12 minutes later.
But back came Poole with Tony Lee making it 2-1 on 22 minutes before Jack Dickson levelled things up just prior to the hour mark.
It looked as though Gosport would come away with nothing as Lee grabbed a second to complete a stunning turnaround six minutes from time.
Yet, refusing to be beaten, Dan Wooden made it 3-3 on 92 minutes. Then, remarkably, there was still time for Tarbuck to curl home for Boro and bag all three points for Gale's side seven minutes into second-half stoppage time.