Gosport Borough 2 Tiverton Town 1
Pitching In Southern League Premier South Division
AHEAD of this game, three new signings were made and Bailey Kempster's loan period was extended. Frustratingly, Jerry Lawrence, the young Bristol Rover's midfielder, was not cleared to play in time to make his debut.
Striker Elliott Dugan and another midfielder, Ryan Keates, did make their Tiverton bows. Lewis Smith and George Russell made way, with Interim Manager Richard Pears having improved options to his match-day squad.
At the beginning of the first half, a typical Niall Thompson burst ended with a shot that greased Toby Steward’s palms in the Gosport goal. The hosts traded blows with the Yellows and Charlie Wassmer’s header skimmed the bar.
In the 16th minute, after a miscommunication in the Boro defence, new signing Dugan intercepted and then found Carlo Garside in space and he put the ball beyond Steward to give us an early advantage.
Tiverton, with their tails up, almost went further in front as Thompson thundered in a shot from range that Steward just about dealt with. The home side’s Czech midfielder Alexander Barsa then tried his luck from distance, but Williams watched the ball sail over the crossbar. A second Barsa effort from outside the box then went wide of the post.
Tiverton had been a match for the league leaders in the first half, and, more importantly, they took a 1-0 lead into half-time.
Boro made a change in the interval, with Antonio Diaz coming on for Kurtis Cumberbatch. Thompson was proving too hot to handle for the hosts and, after another scorching turn of pace, he squared it to Cameron Salmon, who unfortunately scuffed his shot from about ten yards out and Gosport breached a sigh of relief.
With the opportunity to have a two-goal cushion not taken, the league leaders levelled. Tiverton failed to clear to safety from the home side’s corner and instead found former Bournemouth and Portsmouth midfielder Danny Hollands just outside the box and he rifled home giving Williams no chance in the visitor’s goal.
Thompson then surged through again and, not for the first time, was thwarted by Steward. The young Portsmouth loanee impressively down to his post as the Tivvy speedster shot powerfully.
However, it was Gosport who were quickly in the ascendancy. Ashley Akpan saw an attempt go narrowly wide of the target before Williams had to pull off a good save to deny Wassmer.
Inroads were being made in the Tivvy rearguard and Wassmer’s flicked header from a corner on to Harry Medway resulted in him lashing the ball into the Tiverton net.
At 2-1 behind, the Yellows did not lie down and Tom Bath, on as a substitute, nearly got on the end of Thompson’s inviting cross. River Allen then linked up with Bath twice, although,on both occasions, he was unable to force the keeper into a save. Gosport were holding on a little at the end.
With other sides that were below us at the start of play faring better than the Yellows, Tiverton have dropped into the relegation places. They have a gap now before the next league game and that will give time to regroup and hopefully come back stronger.