GOSPORT BOROUGH had to settle for a 2-2 draw in their first home friendly of the summer against Southern League visitors Evesham United.
The home side introduced new signings TJ Cuthbertson, Jamie White and Perry Ryan from the start as the teams did battle in the blistering heat.
It was a good work out against a big physical side which was just what we neededGosport Borough assistant manager Mick Catlin
Not surprisingly the opening 45 minutes ended goalless and manager Alex Pike rang the changes for the second half.
Lee Wort and Kieran Stephens, an 18-year-old development squad member, formed a new partnership up front as Borough looked for their first goal.
The game didn’t ignite, though, until after a 17-man brawl erupted in the second period and the altercation sparked the game into life.
Evesham took the lead as Lance Smith lobbed the ball over Nathan Ashmore in the home goal.
Within a minute, though, Wort stormed up the other end to capitalise on some poor defending to equalise.
The Borough striker caught an Evesham defender in possession and ran on to score.
Six minutes later Stephens put Borough in front, getting across the front of his marker to score with a right-foot volley.
A lapse in concentration in the final minute allowed Evesham to snatch an equaliser.
‘It was a good work out against a big physical side which was just what we needed,’ said Borough assistant-manager Mick Catlin.
‘We saw about 19 players and obviously our fitness is not yet at 100 per cent.
‘It was a tight first half but it opened up a bit after the break.
‘We were disappointed to fall behind but responded well to take the lead.
‘Again we were disappointed to concede a sloppy corner right at the death which led to their equaliser.
‘It was a good work out though and we now face a good test at Bognor because they are always a good side.’
Borough continue their preparations against Ryman League Rocks at Nyewood Lane tonight (7.45pm).