DORCHESTER TOWN 1 GOSPORT BOROUGH 1
ELLIOTT Chamberlain finally found the net for the Magpies as the hosts claimed a hard-earned point from their last home game of the season at the Avenue today.
On-loan Exeter City striker Chamberlain had failed to hit the target for Dorchester in his eight previous games for the club, but he broke his duck to give them an early lead against Gosport.
Dan Wooden equalised five minutes into the second half to give the visitors a share of the spoils in what was the second 1-1 draw between the teams in Skrill South this season.
One change to the Magpies’ starting line-up saw Jake Smee-ton come in for Jack Twyford after missing the defeat at Whitehawk to witness the birth of his second child.
Oakley Hanger was drafted in to take a place on the bench alongside Twyford, with Clive Makoni and Warren Byerley out of the matchday squad altogether.
Dorchester boss Phil Simkin went with Ryan Case up front with Chamberlain and three across the back, including the two Walker brothers, Nathan and Steve, and Jake McCarthy.
And it was the hosts who made the best possible start with just five minutes on the clock.
A relatively innocuous ball into the Gosport box should have been cleared by Brett Poate but the defender made a hash of the situation and Chamberlain took advantage to fire past Nathan Ashmore.
Gosport responded by applying some pressure on the hosts’ goal, though Charlie Losasso and skipper Mark Jermyn had the next two efforts on target, both of which Ashmore saved.
With the game beginning to take on a bit of an end of season feel, a wayward header by Ryan Scott put Chamberlain in oceans of space and his volley forced Ashmore to concede a corner.
Minutes later, and from another corner, Nathan Walker saw a powerful header rebound off the Borough crossbar as he came within inches of making it 2-0.
At the other end, Alan Walker-Harris had been given very little to do in the opening half an hour, but on 32 minutes he was quick off his line to deny Dan Woodward.
The visitors got on top towards the end of the half in terms of the territorial advantage, but more often than not their final ball was poor.
However, Gosport’s fortunes changed almost immediately after the interval when they drew level on 50 minutes.
There seemed to be little danger for the home side when Wooden picked the ball up on the left-hand edge of their box, but the wide man let fly with a fierce drive that flew into the bottom corner – Wooden also scored in the draw between the teams at Privett Park last August.
Wooden’s afternoon came to an abrupt end on 66 minutes when, following a challenge with Case, the Gosport scorer had to go off.
Soon after, Losasso took aim with a crisp left-foot shot which Ashmore collected, then the former slid a lovely pass through to Sam Lanahan and he guided an effort past the visiting keeper but also wide of the far post.
After almost running himself to a standstill, and being on the wrong end of a shoulder charge from Ashmore, Case was replaced by Dan Munday with 12 minutes to go.
A slip by Gosport substitute Jack Kerrigan let in Lanahan and when the ball broke to Chamber-lain, he could only fire over.
Rory Williams, who had come on for Poate in the first half, had a half-chance saved by Walker-Har-ris late on and that was just about it before the full-time whistle.
Magpies: Walker-Harris 7, Lanahan 7, Way 6, Jermyn 7, N Walker 7, S Walker 7, McCarthy 7, Smeeton 7, Case 6 (Munday 78, 5), Chamberlain 7 (Twyford 87, 4), Losasso 7. Subs not used: Smith, Hanger, Murphy.
Gosport: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Poate (Williams 36), Brown, Richardson, Pearce, Woodward, Scott, Prior (Sills 79), Bennett, Wooden (Kerrigan 66). Subs not used: Wilde, Barfoot.
Bookings: None Referee: Simon Knapp (Bristol) Attendance: 414