Bridgman delighted to see Gosport & Fareham smiles return

Wes Dugan. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160220-6)
Wes Dugan. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160220-6)
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Gosport & Fareham finally broke their London one south duck with a deserved 25-15 win over Chiswick at Gosport Park on Saturday.

Since taking the reins last summer, head coach Barry Bridgman has had a long wait for the win.

His team remain rooted to the foot of the table and are almost certain to be relegated.

But Bridgman insists the victory will help them move forward.

‘It was a pleasure to watch and thoroughly deserved,’ he said.

‘Getting the first win lifts a bit of a monkey off our back.

‘And it should give the players more confidence. They can see what we have been doing actually works.

‘It was nice to see everyone walking around with smiles on their faces, for once!

‘The key to it is getting your best team out on the pitch and performing.

‘We had that in this game and didn’t have to play players out of position.

‘Chiswick have only won once on the road and we knew they were vulnerable.

‘I always felt this was a game where, if we got things right, we were capable of winning.’

The triumph was far from straight forward, though.

Early in the second half Bridgman’s team trailed 15-5 and were staring at yet another defeat.

Getting the next score was crucial and after Gosport & Fareham got it they never looked back.

Chiswick opened the game with an early penalty but the hosts then began to assert themselves.

A Wes Dugan try edged them ahead but the London visitors replied with a try of their own on the stroke of half-time to lead 8-5.

Chiswick struck again at the start of the second period – leaving Bridgman wondering if another defeat was on the cards.

The hosts, however, refused to capitulate and showed the character to hit back hard.

Lewis began the fightback with a penalty and on 61 minutes scrum-half Wes Dugan brought the scores level at 15-15 with his second try.

It became a real family affair when on 70 minutes outside-centre Wayne Dugan got Gosport & Fareham’s noses in front with a great individual try.

Lewis added the conversion and a late penalty to start the home side’s celebrations.

‘The challenge now is to consistently try to get our best team out for the rest of the season,’ added head coach Bridgman.

‘It will help us be more competitive against the teams at the top.

‘We also still have to play Brighton and Dover who are down there with us.

‘I don’t see why we can’t win both of those games.

‘It won’t be enough to save us but it will make things look a lot better at the end of the season.’