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First team - Match centre

Chelmsford City
Gosport Borough
Full time
B Wright (5')
Sat 25 Mar 15:00 - The Vanarama National League - National League South Attendance 952

Gosport crash at Chelmsford despite battling display

The Boro' gave as good as they got for much of the afternoon at the Melbourne Stadium but four unanswered second half goals ensured 5-1 defeat.

It all started so well. When Ben Wright stunned the home crowd into silence after just five minutes in Essex, Gosport got the reward a promising start warranted.

Wright (pictured) hit the target with a well taken half volley and the question on people's lips was could Gosport repeat their trick of Tuesday against Bath - defending the lead and grabbing a shock win and their first away success since Hemel Hempstead in October?

Sadly not. The lead wasn't to last as Kane Haysman scored a fine individual equaliser not long afterwards but a superb first half display from Gosport saw them go in level at half time and deservedly so.

But the play-off chasing hosts weren't to be denied in the second. Manager Rod Stringer made various tactical adjustments including the arrival of an extra striker Anthony Church, which tipped the game in the Clarets favour.

A four goal salvo was enough to settle the game with Church grabbing the second within minutes of his arrival before the troublesome Theophanus, Dickson and another from Haysman blew Boro' away with further goals.

Despite another heavy loss, it was much to Gosport's credit that they once again dug in and fought hard. The result leaves them no better or worse off as Whitehawk's defeat against Truro in Cornwall ensures Gosport remain two points adrift of safety with six games remaining.

The two sides had barely threatened each other when the visitors took the lead after five minutes. Chelmsford failed to clear their lines and Ben Wright latched onto a looping ball to strike a volley past Fitzsimons. He then raced off to celebrate with the travelling Gosport fans behind the goal.

However, the visitors’ lead lasted just six minutes as the Clarets quickly levelled. An inch-perfect through ball allowed Haysman to dart through and the winger did superbly to poke a shot past Nick Jordan and get his first League goal of the season.

Following a fast-paced opening eleven minutes, both sides began to settle down and chances came far and few between them. Gosport were close to regaining the lead midway through the first half when Mark Haines was robbed of possession and Pat Suraci's cross flashed across the face of goal and only a touch was needed to put the visitors ahead again.

Chelsmford began the second half as they started the first, making plenty of chances. Dickson directed a powerful volley which Jordan managed to divert away, before Theophanous then saw his driven cross turned away for a corner.

Nine minutes into the second half the hosts eventually took the lead through Theophanous. The former St Albans City striker accepted Robbie Willmott’s pass through, controlled well on the spot before turning and firing a shot past Jordan.

Haysman continued to prove instrumental in creating chances and almost grabbed a second for himself when he weaved into space, however the winger opted to cross rather than shoot.

City boss Stringer introduced Anthony Church on 62 minutes, along with making some various tactical adjustments. This pushed the balance firmly in the Essex club's favour.

The substitution paid immediate dividends as two minutes later as Church drove home a shot from the edge-of-the-box to put the Clarets two goals ahead. Ross Fitzsimons did superbly to retain the home side’s two-goal lead as he pulled off a sublime point-blanc save from Ben Harding's effort.

Chelmsford then extended their lead. A long-ball forward was controlled excellently by Theophanous, and the striker drove a cross to the far post where Dickson was looming and had the simple task of tapping home.

Haysman was almost denied a second goal as Willmott’s cross flashed past the winger and out the other side, however a minute later he made amends for his miss. The former Sutton United player latched onto the ball at the far post and applied a cool finish.

Substitute Shaun Jeffers came closing to adding a sixth goal for City, however he saw his shot wide.

The defeat was disappointing for Boro'. They had worked extremely hard only for a well drilled home side to clinically dismantle them in the second half.

Next Saturday's home game against Weston Super Mare now has huge significance in Gosport's quest for National South survival.

Key moments

Goal Ben Wright scores for Gosport Borough


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90:00 Yellow Card
Tom Bird is yellow carded for Gosport Borough
77:00 Sub Off
Patrick Suraci is substituted off for Gosport Borough
77:00 Sub On
Duran Martin is substituted on for Gosport Borough
74:00 Sub Off
Tom Bird is substituted off for Gosport Borough
74:00 Sub On
Adam Brice is substituted on for Gosport Borough
74:00 Sub Off
Ollie Bailey is substituted off for Gosport Borough
74:00 Sub Off
Sam Lanahan is substituted off for Gosport Borough
End of period 1
5:00 Goal 0 - 1
Ben Wright scores for Gosport Borough
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Chelmsford City
  • Gosport Borough
  • 0
  • Ben Wright Goal 5:00'
  • Tom Bird Sub Off 74:00'
  • Adam Brice Sub On 74:00'
  • Ollie Bailey Sub Off 74:00'
  • Sam Lanahan Sub Off 74:00'
  • Patrick Suraci Sub Off 77:00'
  • Duran Martin Sub On 77:00'
  • Tom Bird Yellow Card 90:00'

Team selection

Gosport Borough
  • 1. Nick Jordan
  • 2. Aaron Dawson
  • 3. Tom Bird
  • 4. Sam Lanahan
  • 5. Ed Sanders
  • 6. Joe Oastler
  • 7. Patrick Suraci
  • 8. Ben Harding
  • 9. Tony Lee
  • 10. Ben Wright
  • 11. Joseph Lea
  • 12. Adam Brice
  • 13. Ollie Bailey
  • 14. Duran Martin
  • 16. Lewis Watch
  • 17. Flynn Begley

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
16. Welling United 42 43
17. Whitehawk 42 43
18. Concord Rangers 42 42
19. Truro City 42 40
20. Gosport Borough 42 36
21. Bishop's Stortford 42 27
22. Margate 42 25

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