Rocks hold Gosport in first pre-season friendly

Doug Tuck on the ball against Gosport / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Doug Tuck on the ball against Gosport / Picture by Tommy McMillan

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Bognor got off to a relatively good start to their pre-season campaign, denied a win by a late Gosport equaliser in a 2-2 draw on a breezy evening at Nyewood Lane.

The Rocks welcomed back Dan Beck and Jason Prior among other familiar faces from last season. Perry Ryan and Sam Pearce were recognisable to home fans in the yellow strip of the visitors.

Overall there was some positive signs from some of the younger players that came on for the Rocks in the second half.

Bognor won a corner early on which was taken by Jake Thomson but his cross was flicked away by a defender.

Gosport’s Mike Carter had first strike at goal on just five minutes. Goalkeeper Alex Bass, a youngster on Pompey’s books, did well to push it away.

Bognor took the lead on six minutes when Alex Parsons picked out Jason Prior, who slid in on the volley to bounce the ball under visiting goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore.

Gosport were not affected and continued to control the ball for long periods.

James Crane played the ball forward to Terry Dodd who passed back to Doug Tuck but, off balance, the midfielder could only sky his effort over the bar from outside the box.

Bass was again called into action when he had to punch clear from a Tom Dunford cross on 12 minutes.

Parsons and Dodd combined well to set up Stuart Green, who slid in and looked set to score. Somehow from just a few yards out, Green saw his effort spin over the crossbar.

TJ Cuthbertson was looking dangerous moving forward from right-back for Borough and let fly with a fierce shot with his left boot but it was always rising.

Gosport equalised on 29 minutes. Following a corner, the ball fell back to Ryan Scott, who leathered the ball from more than 25 yards, beating Bass high into the net.

Green crossed for Prior but his attempt that was driven into the turf was hit straight at Ashmore on 40 minutes.

Bognor were unlucky at the end of the half when a low attempt was flicked towards the rear post low but Ashmore did enough to divert it away for a corner.

HT 1-1

Parsons’ low cross almost got diverted into his own goal by Pearce in the heart of the Gosport area when Ashmore was out of his position.

After a flurry of substitutions from both sides, Lee Wort struck the post for Gosport with a low shot on 68 minutes. The same player struck the other post exactly three minutes later with a fierce effort.

Bognor sub Alfie Rutherford used his pace before trying a cross from the right but Ashmore did well to gather it high in the air, commanding his penalty area well on 72 minutes.

Bognor took the lead again on 76 minutes when a neat corner which found Craig Robson in space inside the box and he powered a header into the net.

Wort ran through on goal and with only the goalkeeper to beat his low shot was deflected away by the legs of sub keeper Anthony Ender on 83 minutes.

In the end it was a worthy draw for Gosport as Steve Ramsey slammed home the equaliser inside stoppage time as a deflection outwitted Ender in the Bognor goal.

But overall there was some positive signs from some of the younger players that came on for the Rocks in the second half, and something for the management team to ponder for the upcoming friendlies and the entire competitive season.

Rocks: Bass, Crane, Wollers, Tuck, El-Abd, Robson (c), Green, Thomson, Prior, Dodd, Parsons. Subs (all used): Beck, Rowlatt, Warren, Cody, Atkinson, Starr, Rutherford, Wild, Ender.

LIAM GOODLEY

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