Gosport Borough fought our their first draw of the season in a goal-less game at home to Chesham United yesterday, holding on to pick up a point after being reduced to 10 men for the final 25 minutes of the match writes Brian Seeney.
In a match where scoring chances were few and far between for Boro and only slightly more so for United, the home side's defence looked a lot less likely throughout to concede a goal than they have in recent games, in no small part because of the addition of Brighton's on -loan central defender Matthew Weaire, who at only 17 looks far more experienced than his tender years.
The 65th minute red card after two yellows for Boro defender Harry Medway could easily have ended in real tears for Boro, but United couldn't find a way through and the match remained goal-less.
"I'm really happy with the way the lads played defensively," player/manager Craig McAllister told me after his side's first draw this season.
"We've had big issues over the last few weeks conceding too many goals and to go down to ten men and defend like we did, deserves credit.
"It showed desire and was a performance that said 'we are not going to lose this match'.
"In the last 10-15 minutes they put us under a lot of pressure. People look at it and say against the bottom of the league team it will be an easy game but it's not.
"They've turned a corner and it showed.
"We defended very well and I'm very pleased with the players for that. But now we have an issue scoring goals. We've gone from one end to the other.
"We know we can play better but we worked really hard in the week on our defence and today that paid off.
"Games aren't going to be pretty every week and we knew Chesham were going to roll their sleeves up because they've signed new players and have a new management team.
"We've gone from one extreme to the other now because we were scoring goals but conceding too many goals. Today we stopped conceding and it is something to build on.
"Yes we can pass the ball better and we want to create chances, of course we do.
"But that was a proper defensive performance against a team who worked their socks off and scrapped for their lives just as we knew they would.
"Every team at the bottom does that so we have to give them credit for that."
McAllister had no complaints about the double yellow for Medway that saw him sent off after 65 minutes
"I never blame the referees - if they see it's a foul and give it, that's a foul. You have to be careful with tackles and even more so when you've already been booked," he said.
"That made it difficult for us but we showed resilience and we showed character and the performance showed the players care.
"At times going forward we weren't as good as we have been but will work on that and we will get it right.
"It's difficult because we all want success yesterday but it takes time and we will get there."
Picture shows Pat O'Flaherty making a crucial save against Chesham United. Photo: Harvey Brown
Updated 11:14 - 6 Nov 2018 by Brian Seeney