MATT PARR called on his Fareham troops to remain positive despite their late, late heartache at Winchester City.
Fareham returned home from the Denplan Stadium with nothing to show for their efforts.
Sam Doswell opened the scoring for the Reds from the penalty spot on the hour but several stoppages caused the referee to add on what seemed an eternity of time.
And Guy Butters’ Wessex League premier division title favourites turned the tables with two late strikes to win 2-1.
Parr said: ‘The extra injury-time wrecked us.
‘That’s when we lost a match that was ours to be won.
‘But that’s how things are sometimes.
‘What we need to do is to take the many positives from our performance and look forward to our next match.’
Parr’s Reds impressed and seemed on course to take the points.
They were solid in defence and looked capable of doubling their advantage with quick surges into the heart of the Winchester rearguard.
Unfortunately it didn’t happen for them.
Chris Mason dragged Winchester back into the match with a very late equaliser.
Then the inevitable happened as Tom Dunsford’s long-range shot raced through a packed penalty area to beat the unsighted Fareham keeper Luke Douglas.
It was a win the hosts hardly deserved.
Fareham surely would have held on if they had the services of several missing senior players – the likes of Wayne Boud, Rob Tambling, Graham Lindsey and Matt Jones.
But to their credit, the youngsters Parr included did very well, considering they were facing a side almost certainly destined to win the Wessex League title and earn promotion back to the Southern League.
Parr added: ‘We travelled up to Winchester knowing they would come at us.
‘But they never really looked like getting an equaliser, let alone a winner.
‘The penalty we got was for a very slight push in the box but it gave us a lead that should have seen us home, particularly as we didn’t give much away in defence.
‘And then everything goes wrong.
‘They get large portions of luck and plenty of injury-time to turn the match around and end up celebrating.’