Frustration, Disappointment and Proud. These are just some of the words I would use to describe the emotions felt by the players and management within Gosport & Fareham after this weekends rearranged fixture Eastleigh.
It would be too easy for those who were not down at Gosport Park on Saturday afternoon to assume it was a very one sided game, they are probably not too far from the truth but not for the assumption they will have made. The final scoreline does not truly reflect the overall game.
Gosport and Fareham had the lion share of the possession but unfortunately were let down by some decision making and a lack of composure within the scoring zone, whereas Eastleigh were clinical and took advantage of the bouncing ball to convert their chances.
After a hectic and unstructred start from both sides, Gosport and Fareham started to apply the pressure and it resulted in a good line break and then a delicate little kick through by Andy Vance, but he was denied by the Eastleigh players intervention. Unfortunately for Gosport then referee did not award a penalty or at the very least a 5M scrum, he awarded a 22 metre drop out which allowed Eastleigh to clear their lines.
After a couple of missed tackles, Eastleigh applied pressure of their own and if not for some excellent scrambling defence they would have scored a very phases earlier, but the resulting scrum resulted in more pressure, before Eastleigh very wisely used the post to their advantage and touched the ball agains the base.
This did not deter Gosport who went on the attack again, it was during a promising attacking move, Andy Vance got injured which resulted in an infringement and Eastleigh took full advantage of the injured player being on the ground and got behind the Gosport defence and they converted after a kick and chase.
Again after patient build up play Gosport found themselves knocking on the Eastleigh defensive door, and showed good patience to retain possession. The referee disallowed a try for Rory Penfold for a forward pass which appeared to be a brilliant piece of individual brilliance from Sam Gee making only his second Senior XV appearance.
After a period of possession for both teams, Gosport regained their composure and went back on the attack, they built some good phases of play moving the Eastleigh defence around and with a swift change of direction they created the space and overlap. Unfortunately the final pass did not go to hand the opportunity was lost as the last defender was beaten.
After this good period of possession, Eastleigh gained good ground and applied the pressure to the Gosport exit, the resulting lineout resulted in Eastleigh going forward and they created the gap for them to score their third try just before half time.
The second half continued very much in the same way as the first with Gosport having a great deal of possession but unable to convert the chances they were creating. Eastleigh scored their fourth try, but the Gosport team showed they will continue to fight for the full 80 minutes, this resulted in a try for Vance.
The players are disappointed with the final result as they did not deserve to have the final score of 5-24 against them, they feel that they lost the game vice Eastleigh winning the game. Dan Turner and Jimmy Wallis continue to lead the way in defence and attack for Gosport, again they lead the tackle count and had lots of carries always resulting in making yards. As a squad we are quickly turning our attention to the fixture on Saturday against the top of the table team KCS Old Boys, who are also unbeaten in the league this season, they will welcome back players who were missing from the Eastleigh fixture due to Kieran McRoberts wedding.
There are lots of positives to take away from today's performance and we will build upon these.