Poate is spot on for last-gasp Borough

Brett Poate
Brett Poate
Hawks striker Jason Prior celebrates hitting the target for the first time since November. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (181103-1)

Bradbury: My Hawks won’t be bullied

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BRETT POATE kept his cool to net a late penalty and earn Gosport Borough a 2-2 draw at Bideford in Southern League division one south & west last night.

Justin Bennett put Borough ahead but Bideford hit back to lead 2-1 before the late drama.

Both teams also had a man sent off.

Gosport made a great start, going ahead inside nine minutes.

Bennett got in behind the Bideford defence to slot past home keeper Grant Fisher.

But soon Borough found things an uphill struggle.

They benefited from a dramatic change of mind from referee Mark Lawrence.

A corner put Borough keeper Alex Hards in difficulty and the ball appeared to cross the line.

Having awarded the goal, Lawrence consulted with his assistant, then reversed his decision.

The vocal home support were less than impressed.

Things got more difficult for Borough when captain Lee Molyneaux was red carded after 20 minutes, for a late challenge on Kevin Squire.

A physical battle was starting to take its toll, particularly on the visitors

Nathan Kirby suffered a head injury but played on.

Dan Woodward, however, was not so lucky, limping off a few minutes after being the victim of a heavy challenge.

Gosport conceded the equaliser within five minutes of the restart.

Squire got on the end of a deep cross to net at the far post.

The momentum was now with Bideford.

They were awarded a penalty with about 15 minutes to go.

The referee spotted an offence in the area and pointed to the spot.

Skipper Matt Hockley stepped up for Bideford to beat Hards.

Going into the final stages, it appeared Gosport were going to continue their luckless run of results at Bideford, where they have been regularly beaten.

Manager Pike refused to concede defeat, though.

Steve Claridge was substituted for Liam Sewell and George Way came on for Kirby.

Just when it appeared that Gosport were set for another defeat, Bennett made a darting run into the area.

He was felled by Aaron Harper-Penman, who was red carded for the foul.

After a lengthy delay, Poate placed the ball high into the roof of the net to earn Gosport a point, in the 90th minute.

Bideford: Fisher; Richards, Barker, Downing, Furzer, Harper-Penman, Hockley, Sampson, Squire, Bye, Andrew. Subs: J. Furzer, Mudge, Groves, Crayford, Sawyer.

Gosport: Hards; Jones, Martin, Poate, Molyneaux, Kirby, Woodward, Arnold, Claridge, Bennett, Wooden.

Subs: Wilde, Sewell, Lewis, Way, Harrop.

Referee: Mr M Lawrence (Plymouth)