Pike pleased with point in ‘game of two halves’

Justin Bennett, right, netted the opening goal in Gosport Borough's 1-1 draw with Maidenhead United  Picture: Dave Haines
Justin Bennett, right, netted the opening goal in Gosport Borough's 1-1 draw with Maidenhead United Picture: Dave Haines
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Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike watched his side surrender a half-time lead but insisted their Vanarama Conference South 1-1 draw against Maidenhead United at Privett Park represented a point gained.

Pike, whose side maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a share of the spoils, witnessed ‘the proverbial game of two halves.’

The hosts had led at the break through Justin Bennett’s predatory strike but were indebted to determined defending and indiscipline from the visitors – who had dangerman Dave Tarpey sent off – following Reece Tiscon-Lascaris’ leveller.

‘It was the proverbial game of two halves,’ said Pike.

‘In the first half we passed the ball well and the movement of Justin Bennett and Matt Paterson up front was terrific.

‘We put Maidenhead under pressure and scored an excellent goal.

‘In the second half, it turned around with Maidenhead taking charge.

‘It was a blessing when they had their danger man sent off because at that stage we were hanging on.’

Borough made one change to their starting line- up with Paco Saez replacing Tom Dunford in midfield.

In a confident start from the hosts, Matt Paterson fired in a fierce shot which United goalkeeper Elvis Putnins parried away.

The rebound fell to Saez who blazed his effort wide from a good position.

In another good move, Dan Wooden headed straight at Putnins after Steve Ramsey chipped in an accurate cross.

Paterson was looking lively and it took a last-ditch tackle to stop him going clear, following a mistake by Mark Nisbet.

Maidenhead improved as the half progressed and Tarpey fired a dangerous ball across the Borough goal.

Rory Williams and Ramsey sent shots well wide as Borough were forced to shoot from long range.

As half-time approached, the visitors twice almost turned the ball into their own net as Borough again applied pressure.

It paid off in the 40th minute as Borough made the breakthrough.

Paterson was played through down the right and his low pin-point cross was turned in by Bennett at the far post.

Borough found themselves pegged back just four minutes into the second half when their defenders were caught napping.

They were slow to react when a low ball was delivered to the near post and Tiscon-Lascaris turned the ball in.

Almost immediately Nathan Ashmore saved low down from another Tiscon-Lascaris shot from inside the area.

The visitors were looking increasingly threatening and Tarpey crashed a 25-yard shot narrowly over the bar.

With his team coming under increased pressure Pike sent Dunford on for Saez.

Tarpey was starting to run Borough ragged down the left with Borough penned back in their own half.

But 13 minutes from time the United danger man received a straight red card for a challenge on Brett Poate.

Despite their numerical advantage, Borough were unable to make it count and had to settle for a point .

‘We stopped doing what had worked for us and started to panic,’ added Pike.

‘We started hitting long balls which got us nowhere.

‘It (Conference South football) is still a learning curve for us.’

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Williams, Ramsey, Poate, Pearce, Saez, Smith, Paterson, Bennett, Wooden. Subs: Dunford, Wilde, Matthews, Gosney, Wort.

Attendance: 362