IT WAS almost inevitable Gosport Borough would end their stay in Vanarama National League South in the manner they did.
After a season of lurching from one crisis to the next Borough went down to a 3-2 defeat to Whitehawk courtesy of a stoppage-time penalty.
The game typified much of Borough’s ill-fated season.
There was plenty of endeavour and fighting spirit but in the end the necessary quality to win the game was missing.
Injuries hit Borough hard going into the game and even coach Danny Thompson was forced to play the final 45 minutes as a substitute.
Thompson admits things have not been easy at the club but insists the players deserve credit.
He said: ‘I couldn’t ask any more from the players.
‘We were forced to chuck together a side at the start and blooded a few youngsters.
‘Their work ethic and commitment was terrific.
‘In the end it more or less summed up our season with another goal right at the end sending us to defeat.
‘It is well documented that things have not been great off the field all season.
‘But the players that have stuck with us and got us through the season deserve all the praise.
‘They have been a credit to themselves and the club.
‘The big positive was the youngsters we put on the pitch proved they can compete at this level.
‘It is important we keep hold of them because they are the future.’
Borough spent the majority of the first half on the back foot but slowly got a foothold in the game.
They were rewarded a minute before half-time when leading goalscorer Ben Wright put them in front with a deflected free-kick.
The home side were forced into two more changes at the interval and Whitehawk hit back to equalise as the hosts were still adjusting.
Five minutes into the second period striker Danny Mills latched onto a long ball into the area and easily beat Borough goalkeeper Lewis Watch.
Borough showed their battling qualities to regain the lead on 58 minutes through substitute Pat Suraci.
The youngster rolled his shot just inside the post after taking the ball away from the Whitehawk keeper.
Within four minutes though Mike West levelled matters with a quality curling strike.
Then with time running out Frankie Sutherland was tripped in the area and the same player beat Watch.
Thompson admitted the next few weeks will be important for the club.
He said: ‘Hopefully now the season is finished a few people can get their heads together to put the club back on an even keel again.’
Gosport Borough: Watch, Dawson (Thompson 45), Lanahan, McCarthy, Sanders, Pointon, Lee, Carmichael, Wright, Bailey, Lea (Suraci 45) Att: 395