Fareham Town on course for a remarkable goals achievement – but boss Pete Stiles confesses: It hasn’t been exciting for me’

Fareham Town are on course for a remarkable achievement.

By Simon Carter
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 9:17 am
Fareham (red) in action during their 5-0 home loss to AFC Stoneham - one of six defeats in the Reds' last eight Wessex League games at Cams Alders. Picture: Neil Marshall
Fareham (red) in action during their 5-0 home loss to AFC Stoneham - one of six defeats in the Reds' last eight Wessex League games at Cams Alders. Picture: Neil Marshall

The Creeksiders could well finish the Wessex League Premier Division campaign having both scored AND conceded 100 goals or more.

No club in the history of the league - formed in the mid-1980s - has ever finished a season with three figures in both the goals for and against column.

Only Horndean (95) and Shaftesbury (93) have scored more goals than Fareham’s 88 in Premier action in 2021/22 - and they still have 10 games remaining.

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But no side in the top 13 - Fareham are currently 12th - have conceded more than their 74 goals.

If they continue with their current ratios, Pete Stiles’ men will end up scoring 117 league goals and conceding 98.

Fareham’s 30 games have so far produced a staggering 162 goals - an average of 5.4.

Such great entertainment has no doubt contributed to the Reds boasting the highest average league attendance in the Wessex this season - 280 (up from 199 last term).

Stiles, though, remarked: ‘It hasn’t been exciting for me!

‘I hate the fact we’ve conceded so many goals.

‘If you’ve told me we would put five past Horndean and Baffins away and knock Jersey Bulls out of the FA Vase, but lose 7-3 at home to Portland … I’d have said ‘what are you on?’

‘It’s just been highs and lows all season.’

Stiles partly attributes his side’s poor defensive record down to the fact he’s seen 10 different players don the gloves.

‘That’s incredible,’ he stated. ‘You do need a regular goalkeeper to help provide stability at the back.

‘We just haven’t had that and it results in the defenders looking over their shoulders.

‘We have defended naively at times as well.

‘I’ve never known a season like it for availability and injuries.

‘You have to remember people haven’t had a holiday for two years, or gone to weddings - hopefully next season things will have settled down.

‘I also think the league panicked a bit by putting so many games on in the first half of the season.

‘We were playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday - it was relentless. And at times we were having to play players who were carrying slight injuries.’

Fareham host Cowes Sports on Tuesday (7.30pm) with Tom Price remaining in goal after his debut in the 3-3 draw at Moneyfields.

No club outside the bottom four of the Wessex Premier have lost as many home games as Fareham this term – eight. And only bottom two Amesbury and Hythe have let in more than their 43 home goals.

The Reds have only won one of their last eight home league matches, dating back to mid-October – losing six of them, including 5-0 to AFC Stoneham last time out almost a month ago.