Fareham Town's chance to equal piece of club history - again

Fareham Town get the opportunity to equal a piece of club history for the second season running on Saturday.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:14 am
Fareham boss Pete Stiles, right. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 170821-13)
Fareham boss Pete Stiles, right. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 170821-13)

Pete Stiles’ men are eyeing up a spot in the FA Vase third round in successive seasons - and for just the fourth time since the Reds were formed.

Standing between Fareham and another piece of club history is a home second round meeting with Combined Counties League Premier Division side Abbey Rangers.

The Reds have enjoyed some of their best moments of the season in the FA Vase, most notably coming through on penalties against Jersey Bulls in the previous round.

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But boss Stiles is placing no extra importance on the fixture and just wants his troops to turn up with the 'right attitude' against Abbey.

‘It doesn’t matter what competition it is, whether it’s the FA Vase, the league or any old cup, I just think it’s about how we turn up on the day,’ said Stiles.

‘It’s doesn’t matter what competition it is, we could be playing in the FA Cup or the Pompey Cup, it doesn’t matter, we’ve just got to have the right attitude.

‘I know there are a few who won’t be available but we’ll go with what we’ve got and give it our best shot.’

Fareham have only previously reached the FA Vase third round on three occasions in the 2003-04, 04-05 seasons and last term – but have never progressed further.

Stiles had Abbey watched in their 1-0 home league defeat to Virginia Water on Tuesday.

But the Fareham boss believes the most important factor going into the Vase tie is the fact his squad had a midweek break from competitive action.

Stiles said: ‘We had them watched Tuesday. You don’t know if you’re watching the team which is going to play on the Saturday.

‘I’m looking forward to it because we’ve had a week off. I think it’s going to make a difference to us.

‘Like I’ve said before, I think we’ve been struggling and you’re only giving players three days off, but suddenly having seven days off - it’s going to benefit us - I’m sure of it.’

Recent addition Elliott Holmes and Ross Kidson are both unavailable for Fareham this weekend.

Longer term absentees Archie Willcox (dislocated shoulder) and Josh Benfield remain sidelined.