ANOTHER lacklustre display saw Basingstoke Town go down to defeat in south Hampshire last night, a goal in each half extending their winless run to five games.
Rory Williams’ opportunist strike had in-form Gosport ahead at half-time and while Town improved with the introduction of Simon Dunn at the start of the second period, Dan Wooden’s excellent shot from distance secured all three points for the hosts.
The game got off to a slow start but Gosport served notice of their attacking threat when Justin Bennett smashed a volley against the crossbar after being flagged offside.
Nathan Smart had Town’s first shot, firing narrowly wide from the edge of the area, while good interplay between strikers Nicholas Bignall and Manny Williams almost led to a chance. Bignall put Williams through and only good defending prevented the return pass finding its target.
Town suffered a setback when Robbie Rice had to be replaced just before the half-hour mark, a high tackle from Tom Dunford leaving him with a dead leg. Robbie Matthews came on in his place and slotted into the back three, but Gosport took advantage as the visitors reorganised themselves.
A hopeful ball over the top was allowed to bounce and Rory Williams’ pace took him in behind the defence. He fired in a crisp shot, but Louis Wells may feel he should have kept it out, having got a hand to it.
Town then survived a shaky spell, struggling to clear a corner and almost allowing Rory Williams another run at goal, while Ryan Scott’s shot from distance whistled narrowly over and Wells was almost caught out by Lee Molyneaux’s lob.
Town had offered little in the first half and Jason Bristow responded by replacing the ineffective Louie Soares with Dunn when play resumed after the break.
He made a big difference, bringing energy to the midfield, and nearly set up an equaliser, his clever flick putting Bignall in, but the striker, who also had a good game, saw his shot smack against the inside of the post.
Frustration got the better of Manny Williams on the hour, and he was lucky only to receive a yellow card for a high challenge, while the visitors just about prevented Bennett from poking home during a scramble in the six-yard box.
More good play from Dunn set Bignall up with another shooting chance, but he could only find the side-netting, while home goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore was unable to hold the midfielder’s low shot, gathering at the second attempt.
However, with Town searching for an equaliser, they left themselves stretched at the back. Another long ball forward was only cleared as far as Wooden 25 yards out and he had time to line up a bullet shot, finding the top corner.
The second goal killed the game and there was very little action in the final 13 minutes. Gosport went closest to adding to the scoreline as Wooden played Rory Williams through, but Wells was out quickly to save at the striker’s feet.
Click here to see a post-match interview with Basingstoke Town manager Jason Bristow.
Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Forbes, Scott, Poate, Pearce, Dunford (sub Woodward 86min), Smith, Williams (sub Wilde 89min), Bennett, Wooden. Subs (not used): Sills, Brown, Richardson.
Basingstoke Town: Wells, Rice (sub Matthews 27min), Green, Jenkinson, Gasson, Adams, Smart, McAuley, Bignall, Williams, Soares (sub Dunn 45min). Subs (not used): Ibe, Daly, Johnson-Schuster.