Gosport Borough suffer rare home defeat

Pat Cox in action for Gosport Borough against Mangotsfield United at Privett Park.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (111364-2)
Pat Cox in action for Gosport Borough against Mangotsfield United at Privett Park. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (111364-2)
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GOSPORT Borough suffered only a second home defeat of the season as they crashed 3-1 to promotion hopefuls Mangotsfield.

Two goals in the opening six minutes did the damage for the visitors, who began the day already assured a place in the Southern League south and west division play-offs.

Contrastingly, with just two matches left to play, Borough have little to occupy the mind, other than pondering a disappointing campaign.

A season that had promised much in August petered out because of their dreadful away form.

And Borough fans were given a taste of the best and worst early on in the game.

At one end, striker Justin Bennett lifted a long-range effort inches over the crossbar before sloppy defending allowed Sam O’Sullivan and Matt Groves to put Mangotsfield 2-0 up.

Borough made every effort to atone for the errors as Dan Wooden met a Jamie Ford cross to unleash a header against a post.

Pat Cox then created a half-chance for James Taylor who, despite being surrounded by Mangotsfield defenders, still managed to poke a shot past keeper Danny Greaves and reduce the deficit.

But any hopes that Borough had of levelling disappeared as Greaves denied Taylor, Bennett and Cox with quality saves.

Dave Birmingham kept his side in the match with a goal-line clearance to deny Groves his second of the match.

But 10 minutes later, and with much of the second half still to play, Mangotsfield skipper Scott Hendy rose high to meet a Groves corner to head home a third and finish the contest.

‘It summed up our season as a whole, continually wasting opportunities at one end and conceding sloppy goals at the other,’ said Pike.

‘From my point of view, we created as many chances as they did and the only difference is that the three they took could have been prevented if we had defended better.

‘But, at the end of the day, Mangotsfield have a good chance via the play-offs, while we have to learn from our mistakes and come back next season and try again for promotion.’