Painful defeat for Fareham means bid to stay up now goes to play-offs

Chris Davey was on target for Fareham. Picture: Keith Woodland
Chris Davey was on target for Fareham. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Fareham are facing a play-off battle as they look to stay in the National League men’s conference west.

A 5-3 defeat to University of Birmingham and other results going against them meant they slipped into ninth place on the final day of the regular season.

Performance director Ben Barnes said: ‘Obviously the result is disappointing and the team were very down.’

Drama occurred before the game had even started when the Birmingham goalkeeper was injured in the warm up before the start and without a reserve goalkeeper Birmingham were forced to play the whole game with a kicking back.

Fareham quickly capitalised within six minutes with Chris Davey opening the scoring from an open play move but Tom Poustie soon equalised on 14 minutes and then Fareham were reduced to 10 men after indiscipline lead to a yellow card.

Birmingham effectively had 11 outfield players to Fareham’s nine and were able to use this advance to score from a penalty corner on 18 minutes through George Sweeting and then a further goal on 21 minutes from open play by Ed Whitworth.

Fareham quickly found themselves having to chase the game but pegged the lead back again through Rob Wilson finishing an open play move to take the scores back to 3-2 at half-time.

George Sweeting restored the two-goal lead for the home team when he converted a penalty corner on 49 minutes which left Fareham a mountain to climb.

Birmingham then scored again from a penalty corner through Matt Clee on 58 minutes.

James Evans scored a consolation goal for Fareham a minute before the end to make the final score 5-3.

Other results went against Barnes’ side with Chichester winning at home 5-0 and ISCA equalising at their game against Bristol University.

It means Fareham will be up against Indian Gymkhana and Oxted with only one team staying up.

Barnes added: ‘We have two weeks to prepare as best we can.

‘We can watch the other two teams play on Sunday and prepare a game plan to beat both teams and stay in the National League.’