Fareham on fire against Romsey

Luke Douglas missed today's game following the birth of his daughter
Luke Douglas missed today's game following the birth of his daughter
Matt Tubbs played well against Sutton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Injuries are big concern but defensive errors also worry Hawks

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Five-star Fareham recorded a comfortable 5-2 victory over Romsey in the Wessex League premier division at Cams Alders.

Reds manager Matt Parr was forced to make a late change to his starting line-up, with regular keeper Luke Douglas is at home celebrating the birth of his daughter overnight.

Basement side Romsey were unchanged and quickly put the hosts under pressure.

But Douglas’ deputy, Adam Redman, did well to race out to the edge of his area and huffing clear, with striker Sam Melin on hand ready to finish.

On 14 minutes, and after picking up the pace of the match, Fareham took the lead.

Romsey keeper Jon Page could only push out Matt Burt’s fierce header in to the path of Kieran Lewis, who lashed home a left-footed effort from close range.

The Royals responded with a neat move of their own, and Redman did well to save a long-range effort from Matt Austin that had goal written all over it.

Fareham took over again, though, with birthday-boy Gary Austin and Wayne Boud testing Page from distance.

But the next time Page touched the ball was to pick it out of the back of his net after Lewis met a long cross to head home his and Fareham’s second of the match with just 25 minutes played.

Austin was inches away from a third when he just failed to reach a superb cross from Burt that defeated the struggling Romsey rearguard.

Seconds before the interval, Liam Hibberd was only denied a third by the width of the post as he took on Ashley Tattersall’s precise pass to slam the ball through a packed goalmouth and against the woodwork.

As the second half got under way, Fareham extended their lead with a quality goal.

Burt charged in to meet a Boud corner and thundered his header high into the net.

On the hour mark, Romsey pulled a goal back.

Burt handled in the area and, after receiving a yellow card, he could only watch on as Royce Reed fired the awarded penalty low past Redman.

And before Fareham recovered their composure, Romsey struck again when Gary Bagley rose highest to head home a second from close range.

It was very much game on now, with Romsey looking likely to go on and snatch an equaliser.

But in a rare break, Fareham shattered their chances as Graham Lindsey, fresh from the substitutes’ bench eased clear to blast a fourth from close range.

And before the celebrations were over, Tattersall took on the Romsey defence single-handedly to go clear and fire Fareham’s fifth of the game.

On 84 minutes, Romsey’s hopes of recovery were dealt a blow when Reed was sent off, having picked up a second yellow card.

And as played resumed, Bagley joined Reed in the dressing room after a foul on Burt earned him a straight red card.

Fareham: Redman, Shrimpton, Boswell, Burt, Roden, Lewis, Boud, Tattershall, Rowe, Austin, Hibberd. Subs: Winzar, Lindsey, Thompson, McKie, Smith.

Romsey: Page, Walker, Williams, Austin, Hayter, Bagley, Scott, Garner, Melin, Reeve, Green. Subs: Whiye, Bryant, Hurst, Milne, Lang.

Referee: Craig Robson.