Swindon sink Gosport in FA Cup upset
The Borough crashed out of the FA Cup against Southern League South & West side Swindon Supermarine.
Boro's difficult season took another turn for the worse as they were dumped out of the F.A Cup by lower league opposition for the second consecutive year.
The 2-1 defeat once again masked an encouraging performance from Gosport but the result has only deepened the crisis of confidence at Privett Park going into three consecutive away games in the next ten days.
Boro' fell behind late in the first half when Harry Medway almost put through his own goal but his header hit his own post and the rebound fell kindly to Woodley who gratefull accepted the gift.
Gosport's persistence was rewarded with an equaliser from Tyrell Mitford (pictured) bringing them back into the tie.
But there was to be heartbreak once again as the influential Parsons lobbed the ball over the stranded Gosport keeper Matt Cafer, after thee custodian's punched clearance fell invitingly to him.
Despite, a big push there was to be no second leveller for the home side and Gosport, once again, were out of the competition at the second qualifying round stage.
Alex Pike once again shuffled his pack after Tuesday's disappointing home defeat to Farnborough bringing in Jordan Whiteley for his full senior debut and with the competition rules allowing him greater selection powers, he was able to name seven substitutes.
Swindon looked lively in the opening minutes but having weathered an initial storm, Gosport opened their visitors up with a good move down the left. Mitford’s strrng run put him in a good position but delayed his square pass to the debut-making Whiteley who had space, and the move broke down.
Gosport’s second serious chance of the game arrived after 26 minutes when Jordan Whiteley broke clear of the Supermarine defence but his eventual effort was straight at visiting keeper Hill.
Boro’s defending was far more thorough than in recent matches and survived an extreme spell of Swindon pressure as the first half began to draw to a close.
Connor Thompson drew a crucial save from Cafer as the visitors continued to ask questions with Parsons the next to test the home keeper.
With four minutes until the interval, the visitors broke through. A corner caused panic in the Gosport area with the home side unable to clear their lines, allowing Aaron Woodley to nod home from a few yards out.
Whiteley’s run down the right flank caused the visitors problems as Gosport sought an equaliser early in the second half. They found one after 53 minutes as Dawson managed to prise the back door open, nipping in behind the Swindon defence, picking out Mitford who flicked the ball high into the roof of the net.
But the visitors couldn’t be discounted with Jon Else testing Cafer with a low drive before they actually did re-take the lead with a lob from Parsons beating the keeper who had, moments before punched clear a cross. The effort from 30 yards sailed over several defenders and in.
Alex Pike made a double change to try to inspire his team to a second equaliser, bringing on Wilkinson and Watts for Mitford and Buse. Wilkinson almost made an immediate impact with a half volley, swerving and dipping and missing Hill’s near post by inches on its way wide. Their final change saw McCarthy replace Lis with seven minutes left.
But it was to no avail as Gosport's hopes of reaching the third qualifying round were washed away by the torrential rain that lashed the stadium in the final few minutes.