Boxall strikes to seal first point for Fareham
SKIPPER Alex Boxall netted to earn Fareham a 2-2 draw with Chichester in National League conference west.
Jamie Rawlings also scored with a deflected drag flick and performance director Ben Barnes was pleased with a valuable first point of the season.
He feels Fareham are improving and should take plenty of positives from their display.
Barnes said: ‘We have improved massively in the first three matches and I am very proud of their team spirit and cohesiveness.
‘It was great to get something out of the game with the effort they put into training and the match.
‘George Harris in goal was exceptional, we defended bravely and intelligently and when we did get the ball wide early and stretch Chichester we looked dangerous.
‘We had four players not feeling the best with coughs and colds but they just got on with it, the whole group worked so hard for each other.
‘Captain Alex Boxall, James Seager and Gurmukh Bhamra, in midfield, ran themselves into the ground for the team.’
Fareham started in impressive fashion with Gumrukh, Boxall and Seager dominating midfield.
They opened the scoring from a penalty corner with a drag flick from Rawlings going in of the post on five minutes to take the lead.
Ollie Baxter’s equaliser for Chichester was a superb deflection into the roof of net from a right-wing cross, five minutes before the interval to level the scores at half-time.
Chichester started well in the second half but were denied on several occasions by George Harris in the Fareham goal.
Fareham had couple of fast breaks in reply.
Baxter scored from close range after Harris made the initial save on 54 minutes to take the visitors into the lead.
With not long remaining Fareham found themselves down to 10 men when Scott Rawlins received a yellow card for a bad tackle.
However, they equalised when Chris Davey broke into circle and his shot was superbly deflected in on the far post by skipper Boxall to secure Fareham’s first point of the campaign.
Barnes added: ‘We started really well and deserved to be ahead as we controlled the game and had good spells of possession.
‘Chichester looked dangerous on the counter attack, which overall in the first half we dealt with very well.
‘I was pleased with our tighter team shape overall and it would have been good to have got into half-time ahead but it was not to be.
‘In the second half, we had a few spells playing with 10 men, and Chichester were more dominant.
‘They threatened to put the game out of reach but we defended well.
‘And when the chance to break came, we had two or three good opportunities and we took one to equalise.’
Fareham Ladies drew 0-0 with Guildford in South Clubs League division three B.