Fareham aiming to show Wessex table-toppers Alresford that 7-1 thrashing was ‘no fluke’

Pete Stiles insists Fareham Town are travelling to Alresford Town determined to inflict a Wessex Premier double over the leaders (3pm).

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 1:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 2:06 pm
Luke Slade scores one of his four goals for Fareham in October's 7-1 destruction of Wessex League leaders Alresford. Picture: Keith Woodland

The Reds thumped Alresford 7-1 in their first meeting at rainswept Cams Alders at the end of October.

After falling behind to an early Mike Gosney strike, the Reds hit back with Luke Slade netting four times - six of the goals coming in a remarkable second half.

Stiles has warned his players to expect a backlash but believes they are capable of causing another upset.

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'There is no doubt that Alresford will be gunning for us after our first meeting,' he explained.

'They will be chomping at the bit to put the record straight.

'In the first game it was a horrible day weather wise and the more they hated it the more we enjoyed it.

'We will go there looking for another three points and to show them that our first win wasn't a fluke.'

Alresford have only lost four times in 19 games but possess the worst defensive record of any team in the top 12.

Apart from their Cams Alders beating, they also crashed 4-1 at Horndean and were recently thumped 5-0 at Portland - where they had midfielder Chris Mason sent off for an elbowing offence after just 11 minutes.

Fareham are delighted to have right wing-back Tom Settle back in contention after missing the last four games with a hamstring injury.

Slade is unavailable and the visitors are also without suspended duo Gary Austin and Dan Clasby.

Stiles has been pleased with the resurgence of his side in the first half of 2019/20

For the first time in many years, they find themselves with a realistic chance of beating the club’s highest ever Wessex Premier finish of fifth in 2002/03.

'I am happy with the way things have gone so far,' said Stiles.

'We are eighth in the league and only two or three wins away from the top three.

'It is really tight and it is going to be a battle between about 12 teams.

'I still think anyone who finishes above Christchurch will win it.'

Baffins Milton Rovers cross the Solent to take on Cowes Sports at Westwood Park (3pm).

Steve Leigh's side have been kicking their heels for the last two weeks because of the wet weather which has seen them play their last four league games away.

Baffins have won three of those matches, though, at Lymington and Hamworthy last month and at Fleet a fortnight ago.