Cornish grabs Fareham a point in thrilling game at Olton

Luke Cornish snatched Fareham a point at Olton
Luke Cornish snatched Fareham a point at Olton
Jamie Rawlings for Fareham taking on Clifton Robinsons. Picture: JCDPE

Fareham pay for lack of end product

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Luke Cornish snatched a last-minute equaliser as Fareham drew 4-4 at Olton & West Warwickshire in National League men’s conference west.

An exciting game was epitomised by the finale, as Olton repeatedly threw away their lead and Fareham’s tenacity paid off to rescue a point.

Ben Barnes praised his side’s spirit after they came from behind four times.

‘We controlled large parts of the game, but Olton took their chances well,’ the Fareham coach said.

‘The last 10 minutes were very frantic, but we did well to not accept defeat and fight back to 4-4.

‘We can take heart from this result – we played good hockey and scored some nice goals, with Martin Gough’s the pick of them.’

The visitors dominated the early stages but conceded on eight minutes.

Olton hit Fareham on the counter and Tom Mallett finished the move.

Jamie Rawlings continued his fine run of form when he equalised from a penalty corner for the visitors. It was his sixth goal of the season and fourth in as many matches.

The clash continued to be a thrilling contest and both goalkeepers made big saves as the first half ended 1-1.

However, the second period burst into life.

Olton regained their lead scored through Martin Ebbage before that was cancelled out by an audacious upright-reverse stick shot from Martin Gough after an aerial pass from Rawlings caught the home defence napping.

Mallett doubled his tally for the home side to make it 3-2, but Gough rounded the keeper and slotted home his second just one minute later.

The end-to-end game continued and Fareham conceded yet again.

Joseph Paul thought he had won it for the home side with a penalty stroke just two minutes from time after a goal-mouth melee.

But Fareham refused to go down without a fight and snatched a point.

Cornish popped up to slot a rebound past the sprawling Alexander Cook in goal.

It brought relief from fellow forward Chris Davey, who had just missed a golden chance from four yards out as he slashed wide.

Fareham remain seventh in the west conference, six points clear of Isca in eighth. Olton stay fourth but have University of Birmingham and Havant for company on 14 points.

Fareham travel back up to the midlands as they play University of Birmingham on Sunday.

– TOM SEEBOLD