Fareham’s fate in their own hands

Ben Hibbers scored against Harborne
Ben Hibbers scored against Harborne
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Fareham’s survival hopes are in there own hands this weekend.

The Henry Cort outfit travel to St Albans tomorrow for the second of two play-off matches.

The locals finished second from bottom in the England Hockey men’s conference west division this season.

It meant they entered a three-team play-off with the second from bottom sides in conference east and conference north – Harborne and St Albans.

Whoever finishes top in that round-robin format will stay up, while the other two teams will be relegated.

Fareham are already half way to survival after holding their nerve to beat Harborne last weekend.

They ran out 4-2 winners at Henry Cort to put them within touching distance of completing their escape mission.

Sam Hissock’s double, a Ben Hibberd strike and Paul Hilton’s 65th-minute scorcher did the damage for Nigel Cook’s side.

The head coach was delighted with the manner in which Fareham delivered in the pressure-cooker environment and he’s calling on his team to finish the job off against St Albans.

He said: ‘Bizarrely, Harborne beat St Albans and we beat Harborne.

‘But we are not looking at that as an indication and won’t be taking it lightly.’

Cook is happy his side’s fate is in their own hands and is confident his players can deliver.

‘A draw or a win would do the job,’ he said.

‘In fact, we could still do it with a loss.’

But Cook is taking nothing for granted.

He added: ‘There’s a window of opportunity there for St Albans as well, though.

‘We will just be focusing on going out there and winning it.

‘We’ve got to do what we need to do to grind it out.

‘We wanted it in our hands and that’s the case – and we have momentum going into the game.’