Rory roars Gosport to another victory

Rory Williams enjoyed a goal feast to fire Gosport to victory at Banbury
Rory Williams enjoyed a goal feast to fire Gosport to victory at Banbury
Brett Poate

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Rory Williams grabbed a hat-trick as Gosport made it 17 matches unbeaten with a 4-2 success at Banbury United.

Alex Pike’s in-form play-off chasers took the lead from the spot through Williams and never looked back to continue their stunning run in the Southern League premier division.

Gosport initially struggled on a very heavy surface at the Spencer Stadium as Banbury looked the brighter in the opening 10 minutes.

Borough, who had to make do without Jamie Brown in midfield, were grateful to keeper Nathan Ashmore who made a superb save to tip Joseph N’Guessan’s shot around the post.

But, gradually, Gosport settled and became the better side and began playing some excellent football.

Just before the half-hour mark, Borough made the breakthrough when the lively Woodward had his heels clipped just inside the area to gain his side a penalty.

Williams had no problem tucking home the spot-kick to give Gosport the advantage.

The lead was doubled four minutes later when a Sammy Igoe corner from the right was powerfully headed home by skipper Aaron Cook.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for the visitors as Banbury’s potency in front of goal halved the deficit. Two minutes before the break, Nabil Shariff picked up the ball just outside the Borough area, made a good run into the box and fired a low, diagonal shot past Ashmore.

In the second half, Gosport immediately went on the attack and made it 3-1. Danny Smith’s header put keeper Warren Carter in trouble and Williams followed up to prod the rebound into the net.

And showing real goalscoring prowess that would have leading scorer Justin Bennett - currently away on his honeymoon - worried, Williams completed his hat-trick with a spectacular arrowing shot from just inside the edge of the Banbury area.

Banbury were offered a lifeline when Cook handled the ball in the area from a corner. Scott Bridges beat Ashmore from the spot to make it 4-2 and spark a late fightback from the home side.

But despite heavy Banbury pressure, Gosport remained resolute and might even have made it five had Tom Dunford’s carefully-placed effort not hit the post.

Southern League premier division

BANBURY UNITED 2 (Shariff, Bridges pen)

GOSPORT BOROUGH 4 (Williams 3, Cook)

Gosport Borough: Ashmore, King, Poate, Cook, Molyneaux, Dunford, Igoe, Smith, Wooden, Williams, Woodward. Subs: Wilson, Wild, Macklin, Martin.