Gosport battle back to earn point against leaders

Gosport's Adam Wilde in action against Hemel Hempstead      Picture: Paul Jacobs
Gosport's Adam Wilde in action against Hemel Hempstead Picture: Paul Jacobs
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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 produced an incredible comeback to twice come from two goals down and earn a point against league leaders Hemel Hempstead in a 3-3 draw at Privett Park.

Gosport began positively, enjoying a fair amount of possession, without ever threatening the top-of-the-table visitors.

Justin Bennett was fouled on the byline and Sammy Igoe’s free-kick surprised Tudors keeper Osbourne who dropped the ball.

Brown picked up the scraps but he was unable to take advantage and the chance slipped away.

However, despite the positive start, a slip at the back proved to be crucial. Nathan Ashmore saved Osubu’s shot from just outside the area and the resultant corner was played short. A pass from Osubu into David Pearce caught the Gosport defence cold and the striker rifled the ball into the net.

Gosport’s reaction was instant. Bennett made a run behind the Hemel defence and his shot was blocked. The corner found Smith whose effort on the turn was deflected wide for another corner.

The second flag-kick sparked a panic and Bennett and Brown both had chances during the scramble - but neither could take advantage.

Borough remained positive and continued to hunt for a way back into the game as half-time arrived.

Bennett had a great chance to level in the first minute of the second half as he burst clear of the Hemel defence, only to drag his shot wide.

The Tudors almost made it 2-0 as Pearce watched his shot deflected by Gosport namesake Sam, whose timely intervention denied a certain goal.

Gosport did fall two behind, though, courtesy of a stunning strike by Mpi.

Borough were once again caught completely cold as Bruce’s long ball over the top put Mpi away down the left flank. He raced into the area as Ashmore came to meet him and used the inside of his foot from an acute angle to score a quite-brilliant goal.

Gosport kept going - even though the result now looked beyond them. And their patience was rewarded when an Igoe free-kick found Adam Wilde deep in the area. He took the ball around Osbourne and finished in style.

The goal spurred on Borough and Bennett was denied an equaliser by Osbourne after his header from a corner was too close to Hemel’s keeper.

Hemel scored a third with 10 minutes left, with Mpi powering a long-distane header past Ashmore. But Gosport responded in the best possible fashion.

Straight from the restart, Bennett got clear and rounded the keeper to make it 3-2.

At the other end, Ashmore kept Gosport in it with a stunning save from Nolan.

That proved crucial as Borough won a free-kick with 90 minutes on the clock. Pearce struck a superb effort which left Osbourne helpless to send the home fans wild as Gosport earned a highly-deserved point.

Southern League premier division

GOSPORT 3 (Wilde, Bennett, Pearce)