Fareham boss Stiles: ‘Maybe Stoneham wanted it a bit more than we did’
A much-changed Fareham Town slipped to a second successive Wessex Premier Division loss.
After crashing 3-1 at home in last Tuesday’s El Creekio derby to Portchester, they went down by the same score at AFC Stoneham.
Reds boss Pete Stiles felt the pitch proved a crucial factor.
'The pitch was shocking and made it a lottery,' he said.
'I couldn't even walk on it before the game without slipping and sliding everywhere.
'How it was expected to play football on, I don't know.
‘I am surprised the game was on.
'In the end Stoneham adapted better to the conditions than we did.
'They scored three goals and we didn't.
'Maybe they wanted it a bit more than we did.'
Due to injuries and unavailabilities, Stiles made five changes to the starting XI against Portchester. In the absence of top scorer Josh Benfield, Ash Tattersall, Tom Settle, Gary Austin and Tom Froggatt, in came Ethan Jones, Charlie Cooper, Simon Woods, Dan Clasby and Jack Breed.
Breed was fresh from two appearances for the Gibraltar Under-21 side - in a 6-0 loss to the Netherlands and a 2-0 defeat to Belarus.
The Reds took the lead at Stoneham through a rare Woods header after Luke Slade had burst into the area and chipped the ball over to him.
Stoneham equalised before half-time - Scott Hills netting his 10th of the season- and added another within a minute of the restart through Spanish winger Eduardo Jiminez.
There was no way back for the visitors after that and Nathan Clements added a third for the hosts.
Fareham aim to avoid a third successive league loss at home to Horndean on Tuesday night.
A poor second half performance condemned Baffins Milton Rovers to a 3-0 Wessex Premier defeat at Bashley.
Baffins bossSteve Leigh felt it was a proverbial game of two halves.
'We were great in the first half and should have gone in at least one or two goals in front,' he admitted.
'For some reason we totally switched off in the second half and dropped off the pace.
'We gifted them two goals by just standing still in our box.
'My concern at the moment is that we give goals away cheaply at times.
'It was very disappointing but we have to take it on the chin and move on.'
On target for Bashley were Lewis Ross (63), Harry Morgan (73) and George Croucher (81).
AFC Portchester's game against Hamworthy United at the Crest Finance Stadium was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.
The Royals will climb into second place on Tuesday night if they beat visiting Tadley Calleva.