Fareham Town thump Street to ease to record-equalling FA Cup victory
Fareham Town romped to a record-equalling FA Cup triumph as they eased into the preliminary round of the competition.
Josh Benfield bagged a 22-minute first-half hat-trick while Charlie Cooper struck twice and Simon Woods, Gary Austin and Dave Parker were all on the scoresheet as the Reds thumped Western League Premier Division Street 8-0 at Cams Alders in the extra-preliminary round.
Rampant Fareham led 6-0 at the interval as they put the Somerset side to the sword.
The emphatic victory saw Pete Stiles' side equal their record success in the FA Cup - an 8-0 triumph in the 1979/80 season in the competition's first qualifying round against Littlehampton Town.
Fareham boss Stiles was understandably delighted after what was a thumping win as his side set up a preliminary round trip to fellow Wessex League Premier Division side Alresford.
He said: ‘We were really good finishing-wise yesterday. Sometimes we play really well and we don’t have the end product but I’d say yesterday was the reverse.
‘It’s a shame because we heard when we were 7-0 up that the record Fareham had ever won was 8-0 in the FA Cup. We had two chances to rewrite the record books, if you like, it doesn’t matter we’re through to the next round.
‘It gave me an opportunity to take a couple of players off quite early - being 6-0 up it would take an almighty effort to lose that lead. It was a pleasing day, really.
‘Now we’re going to be getting stronger each week because players are coming back.’
Cooper fired the hosts ahead inside nine minutes to begin what turned out to be a rout.
Benfield bagged his first on 16 minutes before going onto net a 22-minute treble while Woods and Parker were also on the scoresheet as Fareham went in at half time with a six-goal cushion.
Cooper grabbed a second after the restart before Austin rounded off the scoring 11 minutes from time as the Reds recorded a first victory of the season.
Stiles' side host Bashley on Saturday as they return to Wessex League Premier Division action.