Lack of intensity and passion costs struggling Fareham

Scott Rawlings. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161237-9)
Scott Rawlings. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161237-9)
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Ben Barnes rued a lack of intensity from Fareham as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Cheltenham in National League conference west.

The Henry Cort outfit remain rooted to the foot of the table after Sunday’s fifth defeat in six outings.

And Barnes reckons his troops must stop shooting themselves in the foot if they are to climb clear of danger.

Craig Graham opened the scoring for Cheltenham in the first minute.

They extended their lead midway through the first half before Fareham gradually found their feet.

But for Barnes, it was too little, too late.

He said: ‘We did have our chances to get back in the game.

‘Danny Rawlings drew a save from the keeper during the first half after winning a penalty corner.

‘Scott Rawlings brought a triple save from the keeper in the second half.

‘And late on, a cross from Ultan Watson was deflected narrowly wide by Scott again.

‘The intensity of our play increased but it was too little, too late.

‘We need to play with that kind of passion from the beginning.

‘The slow start and early goal against a defensive team like Cheltenham will always give you a mountain to climb.

‘We improved in the second half and created more chances but failing to take them has seen us defeated again.’

Fareham have conceded 20 goals already this season.

However, more concerning is the tally of just four goals scored – half that of Cheltenham, who have the second worst record in the division.

Barnes added: ‘We did not make the most of our possession – that is for sure.

‘We shot ourselves in the foot by conceding early.

‘Cheltenham then played half court.

‘The second goal was also a mistake in defence and they punished us again.’