Spectacular second-half charge sees Gosport & Fareham maintain perfect Hampshire Premier start after overcoming tough Bognor test

Mark Pollard saluted his Gosport & Fareham players after a second-half rally saw them bounce back to beat Bognor and maintain their perfect Hampshire Premier season start.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 10:55 am
Gosport & Fareham make their way out to face Bognor. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Visitors Gosport found themselves 19-11 behind just four minutes after the restart and facing up to a potential first defeat this term.

However, head coach Pollard was full of praise for the way his battlers pulled themselves back into the game - running in 31 unanswered points in the final 26 minutes to record a 42-19 victory.

He admitted Bognor provided them with by far their biggest test of the season so far, but Pollard was delighted at how his players took charge in the dressing room at half-time before delivering a dominant performance after the resumption.

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A Gosport player kicks off proceedings. Picture: Tommy McMillan

‘It was definitely our toughest test (this season). Their game plan was to play to their strength which was tough for us to deal with in the first 15 minutes,' said Pollard.

‘They got the ball out wide and managed to do some damage. Come half time, we were a little bit frustrated I would say, the guys talked about it at half-time and said we needed to just keep doing what we do without trying to counteract what Bognor were doing.

‘I’m really happy that the lads came back in the way they did. They’re the ones who did all the talking at half time, they’re the ones who understood what they needed to do coming out in the second half, they played their game (Bognor) and we played our game - the lads stuck to our game plan - when they finally started executing it then it worked really well.’

For the first time this season, Gosport did not have things all their own way and a bright beginning from Bognor saw them lead 12-11 at the break before grabbing the first try after the restart to open up a 19-11 advantage.

That seemed to spark the visiting table-toppers into life, with Jimmy Wallis, Daniel Gamblin, Dominic Holling and Ash Wakefield adding to Max Page's first-half try as Gosport went over 5 times in total.

Pollard is now relishing his leaders’ crunch meeting with fellow unbeaten side and second-placed Havant 2s at Gosport Park this weekend.

He added: ‘It’s one of the things we’ve been talking about and the lads are keen to keep going (100 per cent). We’re aware next week will be a tough game against Havant 2s, they’re also on the same win streak as us having not lost yet this season, so I’m fully expecting a good game at Gosport Park next week - hopefully a big crowd will turn out to cheer us on in a top-of-the-table clash.’