Free-flowing Fareham cruise to victory

Jonathan Potts scored for Fareham. ''Picture: Sarah Standing
Jonathan Potts scored for Fareham. ''Picture: Sarah Standing
Matt Cox scored for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant give leaders Exeter a big scare

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Fareham coach Ben Barnes praised his side’s attacking prowess after a comprehensive 6-2 win over Indian Gymkhana in Men’s Conference West.

Josh Godfrey netted his first hat-trick for Fareham and was joined on the scoresheet by Ben Hibberd, Jonathan Potts and Danny Rawlins.

The home win moves Fareham up to third in the league, after securing their second victory of the season.

Barnes said: ‘We stretched them so well and played with a great deal of pace – and that’s very exciting going forward.

‘I’m very pleased for Josh, it was a well-deserved hat-trick. As soon as he got his first goal you could see the confidence grow and grow.

‘The spell just before half-time, when we went 3-0 up, was some of the best hockey we’ve played so far.’

Fareham quickly got into their stride and dominated possession but had to wait until the 25th minute for their first goal.

A well-worked series of passes from the defence set up Potts, who coolly slotted past the Gymkhana keeper from close range.

Fareham continued to press and were rewarded when Hibberd won and converted a penalty stroke five minutes later, with the offending defender being sent off for the challenge.

Godfrey then opened his account on the stroke of half-time to put Fareham 3-0 up.

After the restart, captain Alex Boxall forced another fine save from Theo Dowse, but the visitors got back into the game with two goals in the space of 10 minutes.

The first came when Chris Boyland and Jamie Rawlins failed to clear and Laxman Karan stole possession deep in the Fareham half, played a one-two and produced the finish to give Gymkhana renewed hope at 3-1.

Four minutes later, Fareham were hit on the break from a quick free hit and Sergio Pedrosa fired a fierce shot past George Harris to bring the score back to 3-2.

Two minutes later, Indian Gymkhana were guilty of surrendering possession in defence and Rawlins was the grateful recipient to fire home for a 4-2 lead.

With 20 minutes to go, Gymkahana’s Mateusz Obst was red-carded for a body check off the ball and for protesting with the umpire.

But the game was wrapped up with two late strikes from Godfrey to complete his first treble.

Barnes added: ‘It was comfortable in the end but Indian Gymkhana certainly had their chances.

‘At 1-0 up we saved a couple off the line and then again at 5-2.

‘Potentially, it could have been more. Their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves, not just from Godfrey but also from Luke Cornish.

‘We earmarked this game for three points and it was a game we should have won.’

However, Fareham made an early exit from the England Hockey Cup on Sunday when they went down 1-0 at home to south coast rivals Brighton.

The only goal of the game came with 10 minutes remaining.

Meanwhile Fareham Ladies won their first game in the Southern 3B division 2-1 at home to Guildford ladies.

Both the goals came in the first 
half from Emily Masson and Emma Jones.