In a mirror image of the game at the SKYex early in the campaign, this one saw the visitors go two ahead before conceding three to lose the game although this one was left a little later by the hosts than the earlier game.
Under normal circumstances you would expect a five goal game to be action packed and full of chances sadly however from a spectators point of view this was nothing to shout about with the game throughout being spoiled somewhat by an over officious referee who seemed to want to show yellow cards for the slightest infringement and on one occasion for what seemed from a distance to be an “almost” foul but c’est la vie.
Manager Paul Hughes gave debuts to new signings Simon Grant in goal and Jean-Baptiste Fischer in midfield while Paul Field came in to deputise once again for the injured Cole Brown at right-back.
Action of note was very much absent with the first 15 minutes bringing just a shot from distance by former United man Abdulai Bell-Baggie that Simon Grant had no trouble fielding.
The first save of note was made by Gosport stopper Pat O’Flaherty in the 17th minute, a home defender’s clearance went high in the air, Moses Emmanuel did well to being down the dropping ball and in the same movement find Danny Green, his driven shot being well saved by O’Flaherty who got a strong hand up to push the ball away.
A few minutes later United should have taken the lead when a low cross from the right found Sanmi Odelusi at the near post, his six yard effort going wide of the target with O’Flaherty flat footed in the middle of his goal.
The next noteworthy attempts saw United score not once but twice is as many minutes. On 34 minutes a quick Paul Field throw-in found Adam Liddle, his deep centre was well controlled by Jean-Baptiste Fischer who promptly fired past O’Flaherty to give United the lead.
Within two minutes the lead was doubled as Reece Cole found Liddle again on the right, his cross was collected in the centre by Emmanuel who promptly smashed the ball past O’Flaherty to double United’s advantage and without further incident this was how the half ended.
Not sure what the half time message was but it was as if United came out a little flat despite being two goals to the good and while the home side had more of the possession, the opening 30 minutes of the second half can only really be described as poor from both sides in an attacking sense and that’s being polite.
The game changed however on a decision on 76 minutes when a ball into the United box dropped to Dan Wooden, he tried to go around Grant’s dive and while some say Grant got a touch on the ball, referee Lamping disagreed and pointed to the spot for a trip by the United stopper. Bradley Tarbuck stepped up and confidently sent Grant the wrong way from 12 yards to halve the deficit.
With five minutes remaining United had a chance to put the game to bed when a Cole free-kick was headed down by Charlie Wassmer to Danny Green but his first time effort was deflected wide by a well timed defensive interception.
As we entered five additional minutes the rails really came off for United as twice in as many minutes crosses from the right side found Gosport skipper Dan Wooden and on each occasion he made no mistake to turn defeat into victory for his side and leave United with much head scratching to figure out how we came away from Privett Park empty handed.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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