Blast from the past

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Andrew Cornell looks back at Blues’ games on March 29th

2014 saw our first ever visit to Gosport for a game on this date. In front of a large crowd – given “pay as much as you like” admission after the Borough’s excellent Trophy run to Wembley – and in breezy conditions, the hosts took advantage of Stortford’s slow start. Ryan Scott had a deflected shot held by Joe Wright in the fourth minute and Danny Smith went close with an effort past the post in the 10th minute.

Then Justin Bennett shot over the bar from 25 yards as Stortford through sloppy passing and a lack of cohesion gave the ball away more often than not. When Smith slipped the ball out to Lee Molyneaux on the right, the defender swung over a cross that struck the high up on the angle
of the far post and bar before running to safety. The energetic Rod Young was narrowly wide with shot past the far post following the Blues first real attack and then, in the 22nd minute,
when his cross was cleared away by the defence Sam Cutler cleared the bar from the edge of the box with an instant shot.

Borough striker Justin Prior almost connected with a Brett Poate free-kick in towards the six yard box that Wright gathered and up the other end, in the 28th minute, a cross from the left by Johnny Herd fell to Anthony Church but the midfielder screwed his attempt at goal wide of the
target. Stortford were, however, beginning to get more possession of the ball and in the 34th minute when Cutler passed the ball up to Brian Woodall the striker turned a defender 25 yards out and then struck an angled shot from the left into the side-netting.

Three minutes later, however, the Blues fell a goal behind to a dubious penalty. Dan Wooden slipped the ball into the area from the left for Justin Bennett to take on but the striker was robbed of possession by a perfectly timed tackle by Callum McNaughton. The Stortford players couldn’t believe a spot-kick had been awarded to the South Coast side but it was and Poate stepped up to blast the penalty past Joe Wright down the middle of the goal.

Gosport were close to extending their lead in the 42nd minute as Josh Carmichael’s corner led to confusion in the Stortford defence and when a Sam Pearce header was deflected close to goal, Bennett’s close range effort at the back stick was over the target.

Stortford were again slow out of the blocks on the restart after the break and Gosport’s Prior missed a chance in the 48th minute however, only a minute later it was the same player who doubled the Borough’s lead. An attack that began on the right flank cut through Stortford’s defence and Bennett provided the final pass for Prior to run on and beat Wright with a shot wide of the keeper.

The Blues continued to lack fluency but managed to cause a few problems for the hosts in the minutes leading up to the hour mark. A Matt Johnson corner saw McNaughton head over towards the back stick and then in the 53rd minute a long ball forward was flicked on by Woodall to put Young clear but the striker on loan from Norwich City drove the ball over the bar from 18 yards. Another corner on the left this time from Herd was nudged on by Woodall to Ashley Miller whose shot on the turn was wide.

Five minutes later came the incident that saw Miller dismissed from the pitch by Referee Pottage which left Stortford with a mountain to climb. Wright was called into action in quick succession to prevent Gosport notching a third goal. A cross from the left from Wooden deflected off of Sean Francis and Blues’ stopper had to stretch to claw away the ball at the far upright. Soon afterwards, following a corner by substitute Dan Woodward an effort from Andy Forbes saw Wright make a flying save.

But in the last fifteen minutes or so Rod Stringer pushed his players forward and at times in the closing stages Stortford had all their players apart from Wright in the Gosport half. In the 77th minute a corner from Johnson fell to Woodall but keeper Nathan Ashmore pushed the
striker’s shot away. The Blues were caught on the break just once when substitute Tim Sills slipped the ball on to Bennett who struck the underside of the bar.

Eventually the Gosport lead was halved with four minutes of normal time left. A George Allen ball over the top of the Borough defence found substitute Reece Prestedge running into space and the Blues’ midfielder comfortably beat keeper Ashmore. There was to be five minutes of stoppage time and in the fourth of these Stortford went so close to equalising. Substitute Ryan Melaugh went on a fine run towards the edge of the box before cracking a 20 yard shot that Ashmore produced his best save of the match diving to his left to push the ball away. It ran loose to Prestedge whose attempt struck Johnson who was on the ground and the rebound was flashed over the bar by Prestedge

2014 Gosport Borough 2 BSFC 1 – Conference South
Wright, Miller, Herd, Allen, Francis, McNaughton, Johnson, Cutler, Woodall, Young, Church Subs: Melaugh, Prestedge, Gordon Not Used: Baker, Richens Scorer: Prestedge

2008 Eastleigh 0 BSFC 0 – Conference South
Welch, Jones, Lunan, Edwards, Goodacre, Gilman, Yao, Champion, Pearson, Higgins, Deen Subs: Mason, Taylor, Essandoh Not Used: Stanbrook, Young

2003 BSFC 2 Heybridge Swifts 0– Isthmian League Premier Division
Desborough, Kyriacou, Gwillim, Riches, Gould, Southam, Langer, French, Williamson, Renner, Rainford Subs: Aransiba Not Used: Paul, O’Neill, Parker, Beale Scorers: Renner, French

1997 Enfield 1 BSFC 1 – Isthmian League Premier Division
King, Fox, Forbes, Jordan, Shuttlewood, Quinn, Walker, Wardley, Blake, Adekola, Cooper
Sub: Thomas Subs Not Used: Riley, Burns Scorer: Adekola

1994 BSFC 2 Tooting & Mitcham United 2 – Isthmian Full Members Cup 4th Round
King, Jordan, Harrigan, Gunn, Comerford, Walker, Das, T Burns, Fortune-West, L Burns, Ingielewicz Sub: Adamson Not Used: Macciochi Scorers: L Burns, Das

1986 BSFC 2 Croydon 1 – Isthmian League Premier Division
Coe, Wickenden, Goodchild, Tomkins, Hull, Bright, Flynn, Nunn, Hardy, Hopkins, Robinson Sub: Stein Scorer: Hardy (2)

1981 Barnet 1 BSFC 0– Herts Senior Cup Semi-Final
Henry, Brame, Simmonds, Perry, Bradford, I Smith, M Smith, Brays, White, Barker, Worrell
Sub: Clarke

1980 Horsham 1 BSFC 1 – Isthmian League Division 1
Henry, I Smith, Bradford, M Smith, Knapman, Blackman, Williams, Simmonds, Reading, Worrell, Mitchell Sub: Coakley Scorer: Worrell

1969 BSFC 1 Slough Town 3 – Athenian League Premier Division
Mollison, Haggar, King, Hill, Gough, Nisbet, Duggan, Hammond, Battram, Chappell, Phillips
Sub Unused: ??? Scorer: Phillips

1965 Wembley 2 BSFC 0 – East Anglian Cup 4th Round
Stooks, Knight, Cox, Pope, Atkinson, Mitchell, Wacey, Hanrahan, Miller, Ferguson, Brown

1958 Rainham Town 4 BSFC 2 – Delphian League
Fox, Lloyd, Booker, Pope, Newman, Atkinson, Wacey, Horton, Phelan, Adamson, Francis,
Scorers: Wacey, Adamson

1948 BSFC 3 Hoddesdon Town 1– Spartan League Premier Division
Sullivan, Brooks, Cook, Elliott, Hubbuck, Giles, Jordan, Yates, Verimiglio, Shakespeare, Page Scorers: Jordan, Verimiglio, Page

1947 BSFC 3 London Paper Mills 2 – Friendly

1937 BSFC 0 Wood Green Town 1 – Spartan League Division 1
Parker, Springham, Day, Polybank, Ship, Woods, Clark, Hanratty, Mytton, Frost, Haynes

1930 BSFC 4 Lyons Club Res 0 – Spartan League Division 2 East
Vasey, Spring, Freeman, I Lawrence, Chapman, Mayes, H Lawrence, Haylock, Badcock, Hepburn, Chipperfield Scorers: Badcock (3), Hepburn

1929 BSFC 6 Hoddesdon Town 0 – Friendly

Author: Dave Ryan