Fareham share spoils with leaders

Shaun Baker celebrates his goal against Cardiff Picture: Mick Young
Shaun Baker celebrates his goal against Cardiff Picture: Mick Young
Matt Cox scored for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant give leaders Exeter a big scare

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Fareham bounced back from two straight defeats to pick up a creditable 2-2 draw against men’s conference west leaders Cardiff Met.

Despite an early onslaught from the visitors, it was Fareham who grabbed the lead inside 12 minutes, when Luke Cornish deflected home from close range after a fine run and shot from Paul Nicholls had created the opening.

Cardiff’s James Carson levelled the scores soon afterwards, but Fareham restored their lead before the break with the move of the game.

Rob Wilson and Ben Hibberd combined to set up Shaun Baker, who coolly lofted the ball over the advancing keeper.

Luke Hawker fired the equaliser for Cardiff early in the second period.

And while both sides had their chances to nick a winner, they had to settle for a share of the spoils in an entertaining and competitive encounter.

Coach Ben Barnes felt it was an important result for his side.

He said: ‘We knew Cardiff are tough opponents.

‘But I was pleased with the way we stuck to our game plan and the overall effort and intensity of our play to secure an important point.

‘We improved, particularly, in how we reacted when we turned over possession to the opposition which enabled us to stay in the game and not concede many goals.’

Fareham followed their impressive National League display with a comfortable 5-0 success over St Albans in their Knockout Cup clash.

A James Seager penalty-stroke put them ahead, before Chris Davey doubled their tally before the interval.

The home side’s good play continued early in the second period, with Baker converting after good work from Nicholls – although the Australian was shown a yellow card soon afterwards for a block.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Fareham continued to dominate as Hibberd made it 4-0, while Seager added the fifth and only missed out on a hat-trick when he was denied by the crossbar.

Victory secured a trip to top-flight Hampstead & Westminster on November 17 in the last 16 of the competition.

Meanwhile, Fareham IIs battled to a 3-3 draw with Hamble after fighting back from 2-0 down in their clash.

Ben Cooper struck a brace and Eddie Faherty netted a third to put his side ahead and turn the game around, but Hamble found an equaliser to claim a draw.

Fareham IIIs beat Haslemere II 4-1 as doubles from Nick Cope and Kevin Smith secured the victory, while the fourths went down to a 2-1 loss to Salisbury.

The fifths beat Winchester 5-3, as James Chivers, Steve Smith, Will Feline, Harry Stamper and Mike Elliott were on target.