Battling Borough pegged back

Sammy Igoe
Sammy Igoe
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Gosport Borough were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw in an entertaining Skrill South clash with play-off-chasing Sutton United at Privett Park.

Alex Pike’s side, buoyed by their FA Trophy heroics at the weekend, surged into a two-goal first-half lead as substitute Sammy Igoe’s penalty and Mike Gosney’s smart finish put them in control.

But the visitors underlined their promotion credentials as they battled back to claim a share of the spoils thanks to goals either side of half-time from Simon Downer and former Hawk Jamie Slabber.

The result keeps Pike’s side second from bottom and four points from safety, but with games in hand on all of their relegation rivals.

Borough included Hawks loanee Steve Ramsey in their starting XI as they looked to build on a momentous week.

But on 15 minutes the hosts were forced to make a change, with Danny Smith limping off and Igoe taking his place from the substitutes’ bench.

Seconds after the former Pompey man had made his way on to the pitch, Gosney then wasted a glorious chance to put Pike’s men in the lead.

He drifted through a static Sutton rearguard, only to blast high and wide with the goal at his mercy.

But Borough did lead moments later, when a sloppy challenge by Downer on Andy Forbes in the area was spotted by referee Colin Powell.

Penalty expert Igoe duly buried the spot-kick.

And five minutes later, Gosney doubled the hosts’ advantage, when he intercepted a poor Sutton clearance to rifle a right-footed shot low past keeper Jason Brown from just outside the penalty area.

But it was the visitors who had the final say of a lively first period, when Downer toe-ended past Nathan Ashmore on the stroke of half-time.

Sutton came out fired up for the second half and with the wind now in their favour, Craig Dundas let fly a shot from long range that raced inches wide of the post.

Ashmore then came to Borough’s rescue on 63 minutes when he flung himself across goal to claw out Jamie Taylor’s first-time shot that looked destined for the corner of the net.

Moments later, the talented stopper was Borough’s saviour once again with another quality save to deny Taylor.

But he was powerless to prevent Slabber’s clinical finish to bring the in-form Gander Green Lane outfit back on level terms.

Now it was very much game on, with Sutton looking firm favourites to go on and win,

However, the hosts stood firm as Charlie Clough’s last-gasp effort sailed aimlessly over Ashmore’s crossbar.

GosporT BOROUGH: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Poate, Brown, Richardson, Pearce, Ramsey, D Smith, Wooden, Forbes, Gosney

Subs: Igoe, Woodward, Williams, J Smith, Shaw