Bridgman optimistic Gosport & Fareham can break duck

Tom Lewis. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160123-8)
Tom Lewis. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160123-8)
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Barry Bridgman believes Gosport & Fareham can break their London one south duck by beating Chiswick at Gosport Park tomorrow.

The visitors are fourth from bottom and the hosts go into the game feeling they have a chance of picking up a first win of the season.

Head coach Bridgman was encouraged by his side’s performance in their last home fixture against high-flying Havant.

Although they ended up well beaten, he felt they were competitive for long spells in the game – particularly in the first half.

‘In the opening half against Havant our defensive organisation was good,’ said Bridgman.

‘We managed to shut out their highly-talented three-quarters and they hardly got into our half.

‘It came about because we worked our socks off and made our tackles.

‘We only trailed 10-0 at the break and it could have been even better.

‘We conceded a stupid interception try, otherwise there would have only been three points in it.

‘After the break, Havant scored a couple of tries in quick succession and that has been the story of our season.

‘When we concede one try it takes the wind out of our sails and others tend to follow very quickly.

‘There were still lots of positives to take out of the game, though.

‘I am looking for us to build on that first-half performance against Havant and if we do then we will give ourselves a good chance.’

Bridgman is encouraged by the fact he is able to field the same back-line he named for the derby.

It means regular outside-half Alex Cooksley returns to the side.

Rory Penfold and Kieran Darrington will move back to the wings, with Tom Lewis reappearing at full-back.

Gosport & Fareham also have centre pairing Wayne Dugan and Joe Taylor linking up for the third match in succession.

‘This is the sort of consistency we have been crying out for all season,’ added Bridgman.

In the forwards, Ben Roberts is moved from number eight into the second row alongside Max Page in a bid to speed things up in that area.

‘Against Havant our set-piece was good until they physically wore us down,’ said the head coach.

‘We always keep going but when we get tired it eventually tells on what we are capable of achieving. In doing this we might be able to get some early points on the board to settle us down.

‘This game will be one of the best chances we have to pick up a win.

‘We lost up at Chiswick but it was another one of those games where we were in with a chance.

‘There wasn’t a lot in it until they grabbed three tries in the space of ten minutes.’

Gosport & Fareham: Lewis, Penfold, Taylor, Wayne Dugan, Darrington, Cooksley, Wes Dugan, Gamblin, Wallis, O’Donaghue, Page, Roberts, Reynolds, Larkin, Snowdon. Replacements: Byngham, Titchenor, White