Mark Cotton’s late header earned Fareham Town a 1-1 draw at Christchurch in the Wessex League premier division last night.
But Matt Parr’s dominant side left Hurn Bridge in a state of bewilderment as to how they hadn’t claimed all three points – after rattling the hosts’ woodwork five times.
The visitors took a while to settle and could’ve found themselves a goal behind when Mark Smith’s pinpoint cross was met by Josh Hanratty, who headed into the side netting.
The response from the Reds was encouraging, though, as both Wayne Boud and Ashley Tattersall ended neat moves with efforts that tested Christchurch keeper Ben Field.
Just before the interval, Graham Lindsey got forward to send a header crashing against the crossbar.
And on the stroke of half-time, Tatersall went equally as close with a shot that rebounded back into play off an upright, as the Reds trudged off, scarcely believing the game was still goalless.
But after dominating the first half, Fareham found themselves a goal behind on 51 minutes, when poor defending let in Ben Sullivan to finish at the far post.
The goal lifted Christchurch and for the next 15 minutes they stretched Fareham’s rearguard.
Gradually, though, the Reds regained the upper hand, and substitute Gary Austin was unlucky to see his strike cannon back off the post.
On 80 minutes, frustrated Fareham finally got the goal their efforts deserved – Cotton arriving on queue to meet Josh Cripps’ inviting cross and send a header into the corner of the net.
And in the closing stages, charmed Christchurch keeper Field could only watch on as deflected efforts twice struck his crossbar and rebounded out to safety.
CHRISTCHURCH: Field, Head, Steer, Donachy, Blackburn, Doe, Smith, Cullen, Fairbrother, Sullivan, Hanratty. Subs: Carter, Hiscock, Salazar, Way
FAREHAM TOWN: Douglas, Boud, Tigwell, Humble, Tayler, Wheeler, Knight, Boam, Lindsey, Tattersall, Cotton. Subs: Martin, Cripps, Austin, Bester, Bunton