FAREHAM edged a thrilling EHL Conference West clash against Cardiff & UWIC – but couldn’t repeat their heroics the next day when they took on Beeston in the EH Cup.
In the first instalment of the weekend’s double-header, the hosts started slowly and went 1-0 down to the Welsh visitors after 15 minutes.
Cardiff broke after a failed Fareham attack, resulting in a one-on-one in the home side’s circle.
With George Harris unable to claim the ball while sliding out, he caught the Cardiff forward, and a stroke was awarded and despatched.
With too many turnovers and poor choices while in position, it was Fareham’s resolute defending, from forwards through to defenders, that saw them keep the deficit at one until the break.
Fareham came out for the second half with a point to prove, and it took just four minutes for them to level the scores, with a penalty corner diverted in by Alex Bennett.
It looked as though the game may pass without further incident until the final 10 minutes.
Fareham sliced through the Cardiff defence to gain themselves a short corner, which was hit into the bottom corner of the net by Craig Peel.
The scores were level again shortly after when miscommunication caused a turnover on the Fareham 25-yard line, which Cardiff pounced on and put away neatly.
From the push-back, the Cardiff keeper spilled a rebound, allowing Bennett to collect his second goal of the afternoon.
While Fareham were still celebrating, Cardiff forced a save from Harris in the Fareham goal, but the rebound was picked up and lobbed over the helpless keeper to make it 3-3.
With Fareham determined to make up for sloppy errors, a one-two on the edge of the circle between Peel and Shaun Baker opened up space for Peel to score and secure the victory.
On Sunday, Fareham’s players were back in action – taking on Premier League Beeston in the third round of the cup.
And, despite a battling display, the hosts eventually slipped to a 6-1 defeat.