It was a hard earned three points for Paul Hughes’ side at the SKYex on Tuesday evening, especially when you take into account the fact that the visitors were two goals to the good after just five minutes.
With an injury to Cameron Green at North Leigh adding to the already lengthy list in Gus Payne’s treatment room, the versatile Paul Field came in at left-back with new signing Reece Cole anchoring the midfield. Jaden Thompson-Brissett was given his first start after his recent move from Chesham and Alfie Williams returned to the starting XI once more.
With the aforementioned changes to the side, it was the visitors who started well and were two goals to the good inside five minutes. In the third minute a long ball pumped up field saw Ezra Ikebuasi fail to deal with the dropping ball under challenge and with ‘keeper Ryan Hall stuck in no mans land it was an easy task for Harvey Rew to take possession and loft the ball over Hall into the empty net.
Just two minutes later things got even worse for United as Gosport skipper Rory Williams found space on the left wing, his perfect cross being glanced into the far corner by Dan Wooden and doom and gloom started to set in around the SKYex.
United however soon started to find their feet and in the ninth minute Alfie Williams picked out Jaden Thompson-Brissett on the left, he cut inside and hit a low shot that Gosport stopper Nicholas Harvey pushed around the post. Reece Cole fired over the corner kick, Cameron Black knocked the ball into the path of skipper Charlie Wassmer and he fired into the roof of the net to reduce the arrears with just ten minutes played.
With United settling down at the back and looking to push for an equaliser, it was Harvey and the woodwork that prevented this happening in the 33rd minute when Alfie Williams driving run from midfield saw the Stevenage loanee strike the ball goalwards from 20 yards forcing Harvey to tip the ball onto the post at full stretch.
Still United pressed the visitors defence. Cole chipped a pass into the area that ran back out to Hassan Jalloh, his shot being blocked away by Finley Walsh-Smith inside his own six yard box and minutes later it was Harvey who denied Jalloh, the ‘keeper grabbing the United man’s effort at the second attempt.
The deserved equaliser finally arrived on 40 minutes and once again came courtesy of a well struck Cole corner kick, again the scorer was Wassmer but this time with a towering downwards header that bounced up into the roof of the net.
One chance came in stoppage time before the break and it was for the visitors when Andreas Robinson tried his luck with a 20 yard free-kick but Hall held it comfortably and the sides went in level at half-time.
The second half did not start with the ferocity of the first and it was past the hour mark before an opening came for either side, it fell to the visitors as a left wing cross was headed over by Wooden in the middle.
A minute later United had the lead for the first time, again started from a Cole corner. This time the kick was actually too deep to trouble the visitors defence initially however the alert Jalloh chased and collected the ball before playing it back to Alfie Williams, he moved inside and hit a fierce drive that Harvey could only parry straight to the on-coming Moses Emmanuel who acrobatically volleyed the ball home for his fourth of the campaign.
Ten minutes later Harvey denied Emmanuel a second when the striker got a shot away having turned his marker in the box, the Gosport ‘keeper doing well to push away his effort.
As the game came towards its conclusion, Gosport substitute Harvey Bradbury looped a header on to the top of the United goal and pandemonium set in during stoppage time as a game of pinball was played out in the United six yard box with Hall twice blocking and eventually diving on the ball only to get a kick in the chest from Walsh-Smith which saw a caution for the Gosport defender.
United closed the game out without further scares to bring away a very hard fought, but deserved, three points.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Print the Teamsheet: Here.
© iZedIT Computer Solutions.
Website renewal kindly sponsored by the HYUFC Supporters fund raising team.