A first-half brace from Toby Holmes, and a third from Curtis Young after an hour, were enough to see the Magpies home against a spirited fightback by Gosport.
On 9 minutes Luke Burbidge played a perfectly weighted ball over the visitors’ back-line for Toby to race onto and beat former Magpie Pat O’flaherty with a trademark finish. Ten minutes later the hosts doubled their advantage. Toby passed across the area to Burbidge whose first-time shot was well-saved by the keeper. However, his save forced the ball down then up and the alert Toby beat a defender to head over O’flaherty and into the net for his goal number 21 of the season.
Toby was replaced on 48 minutes by Aidan Shepherd. And it was the youngster who played a clever back-heel to Luke Holmes on 62 minutes to create the third. Holmes’ rasping drive was well-saved by the keeper, but the rebound fell to Curtis Young who drilled the ball into the net.
Gosport kept coming forward and got their reward on 73 minutes when substitute David Jerrard scored through a crowd of players in front of Gerard Benfield. Five minutes later the elusive Ryan Pennery was on the end of a slick passing move to reduce the lead to one.
It was an uncomfortable final quarter of an hour for home supporters, but Matty’s Magpies held out to make it 8 points from 12 over the Christmas and New Year period, and extend their home league run to six wins and a draw from the last seven.
Full report by Max Emes to follow.