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PHOTO: Dan Thompson who struck all four goals last night
Guy Whittingham praised the attitude of his Pompey troops as they defeated Gosport 4-1 at Privett Park last night. Dan Thompson fired a timely reminder of his talents to the watching Blues boss Michael Appleton as he netted all four goals for the visitors.
Borough substitute Bradey Norton had his moment in the spotlight, too, as he lashed home Gosport’s consolation in the second period. But the goal failed to take the gloss off what was a mature Pompey performance in Whittingham’s eyes.
The Blues first-team coach said: ‘The result was important as it lifts the confidence of the side but the attitude of the lads was the highlight and very pleasing. ‘The three senior players, who were on the bench at Sheffield United on Monday night, led by example and the younger players followed and did very, very well. ‘I am sure the manager was as delighted as I am.’
Before kick-off Appleton cut the tape to officially open the new Harry Mizen Stand, named in honour of the long-serving Borough president who died in 2004. With his official duties over, Appleton then took his seat in the stand to watch the young Pompey side get off to a cracking start.
Dan Thompson fired a warning shot across goal before Gosport keeper Nathan Ashmore tipped a Jack Compton effort around the post. Blues defender Josh Thompson had to be alert to turn a cross to safety as Borough hitman Justin Bennett threatened to pounce. But normal service resumed soon after and Pompey took the lead on 24 minutes. Liam Walker’s neat chip over Aaron Cook and Steve Stow was met by the trusty right boot of Dan Thompson, who blasted the ball past Ashmore.
Seconds after the restart, Walker rattled the upright with a free-kick before his superb crossfield ball picked out Jack Maloney to cross for Dan Thompson’s second. The striker should have completed his hat-trick soon after when Ashmore made a dreadful mistake. But after firing that chance wide, he made amends five minutes later to complete his treble. Ashmore denied him a fourth goal minutes after the restart before Bennett headed over the top for Borough. It was then that Norton was introduced for former Pompey midfielder Sammy Igoe.
And while Norton’s impact was not immediate, it was impressive. George Colson and Compton had both gone close for the visitors before the crowd of 302 were treated to a Gosport goal. Norton took centre stage with his neat control, turn and blistering finish that gave Blues keeper Connor O’Hara no chance.
After soaking up a mini Borough fightback, Dan Thompson completed the scoring on 76 minutes when he headed home a Walker free-kick. There was still time for Pompey substitute James Hartson to lift Elliot Wheeler’s cross over the bar but the game finished 4-1.
GOSPORT: Ashmore, Stow, Martin, Cook, Dunford, Woodward, Igoe, Smith, Gaisie, Bennett, Wilde. Subs: Way, Poate, Wareham, Camp, May, Norton, Churchill
POMPEY: O’Hara, Wheeler, Butler, Colson, J Thompson, Warren, Maloney, Walker, D Thompson, Lawson, Compton. Subs: Triggs, Awford, Branford, Hartson
Ref: Dean Treleaven (Fareham)