Hungerford Town 1 - 2 Gosport Borough
HUNGERFORD are now facing the number one task of securing any place in the play-offs after Saturday’s defeat handed Gosport a vital lift in the end of season charge.
Borough were without the injured Steve Claridge, and that was probably a good thing for Hungerford as the wily veteran would probably have potted more of the chances that Borough produced against a Hungerford side that again failed to fire throughout the 90 minutes.
They had their share of most things in an entertaining game, but overall Borough deserved the points and now Hungerford – with games at Halesowen, Paulton Rovers and Bideford to come – may need eight more points to avoid the threat of being turfed out of the play-off places altogether.
North Leigh’s run-in may make Hungerford’s task a little easier, but at best Hungerford look like facing road trips in the final games, unless they can build a return to form in their four remaining league games.
Borough were certainly up for the game and Daniel Wooden might have put them ahead after only 20 seconds, although Joe McClennan should have fired Hungerford in front when left in front of goal with only goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore to beat, only to fire at the goalkeeper.
The visitors looked sharper though, and they deserved to take the lead five minutes before the interval, albeit from a free kick harshly awarded against Jon Boardman when he blocked Jamie Ford’s point-blank but was penalised for handball, and nothing blocked Brett Poate’s driven free kick, not least the Hungerford wall.
But the home side got the early second half response they needed from a route one raid, goalkeeper Chay Morris launching a long clearance than bounced all the way to Harry Goodger, who took it down before sidestepping Ashmore to score.
There were chances at both ends before Justin and Bennett split open Hungerford’s defence for the latter to score, and when Goodger headed wide from an Ogbanufe cross, Hungerford were left falling to the back of the chasing bunch and in need of a boost to avoid becoming also-rans.
Report by Malcolm Howe Sports Editor NWN