|Go Sport! Boor Hug!|
One poor old dad has fevered semi-sleep. Suffering, tossing, turning. Ludicrous lifelike dreams. Appears on a new, cheaply-produced programme on the specialist channel, Evostik TV - Anagram Fans. "Welcome to Anagram Fans! Each week, we give a list of football clubs to supporters of teams in the Evostik North and South Leagues. They have to produce succinct and hilarious anagrams from these football club names. The winner is the fan who scores the most on the studio audience's Rattle-ometer!
First up, representing Gosport Borough, is Andrew! Andrew, you have thirty seconds to create the best anagram you can out of your own club...Gosport Borough!"
|The magnificent old stand at Gosport Borough FC.|
Gosport Borough FC (2) 2 v 0 (0) Bideford AFC
Saturday 22nd September 2012
FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Club shop: Yes, badges £3.50. The original shop was burned down during the summer, so stock is quite limited at the moment. However, if you want scarves, beanie hats, old programmes, they're all there.
Colours: Yellow / Navy blue / Navy blue v All red.
National Grid reference: SZ5999
|Jock's Tea Bar in front of the big old stand at Gosport Borough.|
...who go wild! The Rattle-ometer (which consists of a hundred enthusiastic, bobble-hatted, bar-scarved rattle-twisters) pops up right to the top! Poor old dad, who thought his anagram made Gosport Borough sound like a particularly badly-named club from the Dutch regional leagues (definitely not as good as Go Ahead Eagles of Deventer*), wins the Anagram Fans trophy - a silver dictionary on a stick. It was almost worth the sleepless night.
*Interesting fact: Early in their history, Go Ahead had to change their name from Be Quick, by order of the Dutch FA.
|Gosport Borough attack.|
It was a fine day on the Gosport peninsula - one of those days when you believe you can reach out and shake hands with the Isle of Wight, four miles distant on the other side of The Solent. My son lost his first tooth whilst eating a packet of crisps at Gosport submarine museum a few years ago - which is the only personal anecdote I have of the town. It's not really a place that you pass through on the way to anywhere else, so I've never spent much time there.
My last visit was for Boro's match against AFC Totton, which the visitors won to gain promotion. I took a few photos of Privett Park on that occasion, but failed to take any of the colourful and eccentric Harry's Shed, reasoning that I would be coming back another time and could take a few pics then. I didn't realise that the distinctive home-made shack with garden bench would be replaced by a new stand by my next visit. You can see it here in a set of photos taken by the excellent David Bauckham.
|Celebrating in front of the new Harry Mizen Stand.|
To be honest, I've spent more time around the Bideford area than I have in Gosport, during a couple of North Devon holidays. Memories include watching a sheep race at The Big Sheep ("The best day of your holiday, baa none!"), and of wearing a stripy gnome hat whilst walking around the nearby Gnome Reserve ("Discover a pixie flitting over clumps of comfrey!"). Happy days!
I was present at Fratton Park in 1978 for a First Round Proper tie against Bideford. I don't remember much about it - I know Pompey won 3-1 and that there were over 10,000 people there (possibly the most ever to watch Bideford play?). Did the Devon club play in red and white stripes? Or was that Minehead the previous season? I know that Pompey were relegated to the Fourth Division that year. If I believed in omens, I probably shouldn't have watched Bideford again this season...
By the way, did you know that Pompey are only one of two of the longer-established Football League sides never to have lost to non-league opposition in the FA Cup? I think the only way that they will keep up that record this year is to avoid being drawn against one. A virtual clap on the back to anyone who can name the other lucky club.
|A ticking off from the ref for this errant Bideford player.|
For all their immense pressure, Boro didn't score until the 23rd minute, but by the bushy tail of Squirrel Nutkin, it was worth waiting for! Chisel-jawed centre-back Brett Poate controlled a loose clearance 25 yards from goal, took aim, and curled the ball around the entire Bideford defence (and one of his leaping team mates, if this photo is telling the truth), battering the ball against the inside of the left-hand post, from whence it settled up against the far side of the net. The ball may well have had a satisfied smile on its face from a job well done - the best goal I've seen so far this season, for schizz.
Goal number two (and surprisingly the last, as Boro should have won by four or five) came fifteen minutes later after Justin Bennett had wiggled past the left side of Bideford's defence with the mesmerising hip-shaking agility of a teenage Elvis, before passing to his team-mate Luke King to wallop home from three yards.
|Gosport Borough's press box humming with half-time activity.|
The visitors from Devon did have some chances, causing Gosport's custodian Nathan Ashmore to fly through the air like a levitating superhero for one particularly spectacular save, and then hitting the post in the second half during their only really threatening period of the game.
At one point Bideford shot in to the side netting. Of course, their fans claimed a goal, but the officials were having none of it. I suspect Gosport will be sick of this joke over the coming weeks and months.
Overhearing some Boro fans on the way out, it appeared that they wanted to play local rivals Fareham Town in the next round. However, the Creeksiders had already fallen at home to Blackfield & Langley in their tie just a few short miles to the north. Instead, Gosport will travel to Conference South Bath City in a fortnight. Two more wins and they will be in the First Round Proper.
|Bideford kept their substitutes' number boards in a reusable carrier bag.|
Newport (IW) have been the most successful of the clubs that I've featured to date, as they went on to win two more ties, before losing to Salisbury City on Saturday; Winchester City and Weymouth both lost their next matches after being featured on here. Gosport Borough will have to win away at Bath City in the Third Qualifying Round to outdo the latter pair. If they can repeat Saturday's performance, they have a chance.
Gosport Borough's official match report is here. Bideford's is here. The full set of photos from Gary Spooner on Football Grounds In Focus is here. David Bauckham's photos are here.