Gosport’s play-off bid hurt by Frome draw

Rory Williams gave Gosport an early lead at Frome
Rory Williams gave Gosport an early lead at Frome
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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’s Southern League premier play-off destiny has been taken out of their own hands after a 1-1 draw at Frome tonight.

Alex Pike’s men needed a victory to jump ahead of fifth-placed Barwell, who occupy the final play-off spot.

But despite dominating in Somerset, Gosport could not find a winner, meaning they now need Barwell or Hemel Hempstead to slip up in this weekend’s final league matches of the season.

Borough made the perfect start when Dan Wooden broke down the left and held off a tough challenge before firing in a cross for Williams to tuck home from point-blank range.

The match turned on 25 minutes, though, when Frome keeper Darren Chitty was lucky to avoid a red card after he charged yards out of his penalty area to handle the ball with Wooden about to strike. Amazingly, New Milton referee Martin Bloor ignored Borough’s justified appeals and instead awarded Frome a goal-kick.

Just to rub salt into Gosport’s wounds, Frome were then gifted an equaliser when Nathan Ashmore failed to hold Ricky Holbert’s snap-shot and Luke Ballinger was in to stroke the ball into an empty net.

Gosport had a string of chances after the break, with Wooden and Williams going close and a handful of shots cleared off the line, but it wasn’t to be their night, which was summed up further after injuries to Brett Poate and Aaron Cook.