Match Report from Aleck Everard
Swindon Supermarine were back in home action on Wednesday night as they entertained Gosport Borough, looking to get back on the winning track after finally losing their eleven match unbeaten league at Plymouth Parkway on Saturday.
Manager Lee Spalding freshened the pack with loan signings Malik Sesay and George Cowmeadow being brought into the team with Tyrone Duffus missing out with a jarred knee and Conor McDonagh dropping to the bench. Good news on the team sheet as George Dowling and Tom Sharpe were both fit enough to make the bench for the first time in months. Top scorer Harry Williams, left back duo Will Tunnicliff and Lewis Hall all remained sidelined but closing in on a return soon.
On a wet and soggy surface both sides struggled to get to grips with things in the early stages and there was seventeen minutes on the clock before the first decent effort on goal as Marine settled into their game. On this occasion tall Gosport stopper Pat O’Flaherty was down to stop Zack Kotwica’s low drive. George Cowmeadow was the next to show with a strong run down the left finishing with a thump over the top. Marine were now looking in control and passing the ball around well and the first goal came as expected.
With twenty-five minutes on the clock a nice team move ended with a deft back hill assist from the inventive Joe Tumelty allowing Zack Kotwica to blast home from just outside the box giving O’Flaherty no chance. Zack Kotwica’s excellent season continuing with his eleventh goal and most successful goal tally of his Marine career.
Whether it was a touch of complacency or a case of taking their foot off the pedal Marine got sloppy at the back and a header back to Josh Gould from full back Ryan Campbell dropped a little short which allowed Harvey Rew to execute a lovely lob over Gould to level proceedings on the half hour. Supermarine responded well and Tumelty appeared to be clipped in the box, but appeals were waved away by referee Nicholson. The final chance of the half fell to striker James Harding, but O’Flaherty used his feet very well to block the his shot. A mixed half with good possession, an excellent goal but a sloppy leveller made it all to play for in the second period.
Marine continued where they left out by dominating the game and having to fend off the odd break from the Borough team. O’Flaherty continued to frustrate the home attack, Tumelty having an effort blocked early on. Jamie Edge headed a corner just over the top soon after before the visiting custodian showed some weakness at last when he spilled a Henry Spalding effort only to keep out Cowmeadow’s follow up on the hour mark.
A rare Gosport attack saw the lively Noa Boutin strike a good chance over the bar before Marine made their first change with Conor McDonagh on for George Cowmeadow to try and grab the initiative. Josh Gould was called into action and pulled off a superb stop as Marine pushed forward for the breakthrough. With 15 minutes left Brad Hooper came on for Jamie Edge who had taken a knock to his foot minutes earlier.
Within a minute Marine put a good move together to release James Harding into the box and he was brought tumbling giving the referee no option but to point to the spot. With seventy-seven minutes on the board Pat O’Flaherty was making himself the man of the night when Harding stepped up and put his kick down to the keeper’s right allowing the Gosport keeper to push the ball away and as an encore he blocked Zack Kotwica’s follow up attempt.
Josh Gould then had to pull off another good stop as Marine wobbled after the penalty miss but these Marine boys never give up and with time running out Henry Spalding was flattened out on the right to give Marine a late free kick. A free kick was whipped in by Henry Spalding that caused chaos in the Gosport box and poacher supreme James Harding atoned for his earlier penalty miss and showing predatory instincts to blast home the ball to grab a late lead. This was his fifteenth goal of the season and seventh in four games since Harry Williams’ injury gave him his opportunity and what a way to respond!
George Dowling came on immediately after the goal, replacing Harding as Marine looked to preserve what they had but with time running out, but a majestic pass from the midfielder set away Henry Spalding on goal and he cleverly poked it past the keeper to seal the points with the third and his sixth goal of the season. It had been a hard-fought victory but one Marine had undoubtedly deserved, keeping the playoff chase going, now just three points behind 5th with a game in hand.
Manager: Lee Spalding
Colours: Blue & White Hoops / Blue / Blue
Line-up: 1. Josh Gould 2. Sam Turl 3. Ryan Campbell 4. Jamie Edge (14. Brad Hooper 76’) 5. Malik Sesay 6. Mat Liddiard (c) 7. Henry Spalding 8. Joe Tumelty 9. Zack Kotwica 10. James Harding (12. George Dowling 89’) 11. George Cowmeadow (12. Conor McDonagh 64’)
Subs not used: 15. Leon Morrison, 17. Tom Sharpe
Goalscorers: Zack Kotwica 25’, James Harding 89’, Henry Spalding 90+2’
Editors Star Man: Sam Turl
Manager: Mark Molesley
Colours Yellow / Blue / Yellow
Line-up: 1. Pat O’Flaherty 2. Harry Kavanagh 3. Rory Williams (c) 5. Harry Medway 7. Bradley Tarbuck 8. Harvey Rew * 9. Dan Wooden (12. Brett Williams 84’) 11. Billy Busari (20. Kyal Williams 84’) 15. Lewis Kinsella 17. Noa Boutin 19. Dan Hollands
Goalscorer: Harvey Rew 30’
Subs Not Used: 6. Matt Briggs, 14. Abdulai Baggie , 18. Michel Parker
Editors Star Man: Rory Williams
Pat O’Flaherty 76’
Courtesy of Mike Wray
Courtesy of Alex White Photography
Post Match Team Sheet
Referee: David Nicholson (Bicester)
Assistant Referees: Peter Doolan (Faringdon), Dan Spyer (Calne)