Wells: We were let off the hook by Tottonians

Gosport & Fareham's Simon Pickett
Gosport & Fareham's Simon Pickett
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Tom Whitehouse. Picture: Neil Marshall (171730-81)

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Gosport & Fareham were granted a huge let-off at the death as they beat Tottonians 20-17 at Gosport Park to maintain their lead at the top of London two south west.

The league leaders held a narrow three-point advantage deep into stoppage-time when the visitors were awarded a kickable penalty.

Instead of taking the three points to force a draw, however, Tottonians opted to kick for touch and a line-out to try and win the game.

The home side held out, though, and breathed a huge sigh of relief at the final whistle.

‘Never in a million years would we have done that in their position,’ said Gosport coach Mark Wells.

‘Tottonians though weren’t clued in and let us off the hook when they could have forced a draw.

‘We played badly and won but it isn’t good enough.

‘Too many first-up tackles were missed and we conceded three tries.

‘Tottonians deserved their first-half lead because of their direct hard running.

‘I needed to change things at the break because we were being overpowered.

‘In the second half we went forward more.’

Tottonians opened the scoring with a 14th-minute try before Andy Vance replied with a penalty for the home side.

Another converted try by the visitors, five minutes before half-time left Gosport & Fareham trailing 12-3 at the break.

The home side made a strong start to the second period with prop forward Simon Pickett going over for a try just three minutes in.

Six minutes later, Vance converted a try by winger Gareth Jones and soon added a penalty to put his side in charge.

Tottonians refused to lie down though.

And they notched a stoppage-time try before the nail-biting finale.