Gosport ‘live to fight another day’

Gosport centre Wayne Dugan takes on the Dover defence
Gosport centre Wayne Dugan takes on the Dover defence
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Tom Whitehouse. Picture: Neil Marshall (171730-81)

Pearce fires warning to triumphant Portsmouth

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Gosport & Fareham’s London one south status remains in the balance following their 8-8 draw against Dover at Gosport Park.

Scott Ashley’s side picked up two points, leaving them occupying the final relegation spot – one point adrift of Beckenham.

It promises to be a nail-biting final fortnight but Ashley is defiant his side can still pull off a great escape.

‘We live to fight another day,’ said Ashley.

‘Dover let us off the hook by missing four very kickable shots at goal and we must look to make the most of that.

‘I always knew it would probably go to the wire and we are remaining positive.

‘Beckenham are in freefall and finish with two difficult away games.

‘We have to go to Chichester next week and finish at home against Hove.

‘There is still all to play for.

‘Beckenham did us a favour by losing at home to Cobham.’

Young full-back Tom Lewis gave the home side an early boost with a second-minute penalty.

But Dover replied in kind, just three minutes later.

Both teams had players yellow carded either side of the interval but there was no further scoring until the 68th minute.

Gosport scrum-half Wes Dugan struck for the first try of the game.

Once again, Dover wasted little time in levelling the scores and hit back with a try of their own within five minutes.

The home side had a huge let off at the death when Dover missed a penalty to win the game with the final kick of the match.

Ashley added: ‘Dover played a clever and very aggressive, spoiling game and didn’t allow us to play the game we wanted to play.

‘But we just weren’t clinical enough. We didn’t capitalise when they were a player down for 20 minutes of the game and we didn’t seal the game when we should have.

‘We should have showed that killer instinct which we don’t have at the moment.

‘There were times when, if we had played with our heads up, we could have taken advantage of overlaps we had outside.

‘We started well and were playing sensible rugby going for those early penalty points.

‘Our defence was good – even the best defence would have struggled to keep out their try because that was a very well-worked move.

‘We were slow to recycle but our line-out functioned and our scrummage worked this week.

‘It was not attractive rugby in any shape or form.

‘Both sides made handling errors and we gave away some silly penalties by players being over keen, and I think fatigue set in a bit towards the end.

‘People will argue we were very lucky, and we were lucky because their kicker was shocking.

‘We didn’t deserve to lose but we didn’t deserve to win.

‘It’s another two points and those two points could be vital.’