Mixed feelings for Fareham boss after derby draw
Pete Stiles maintained his unbeaten start as Fareham Town manager with a 2-2 draw against Wessex League premier division leaders Moneyfields at Dover Road.
His cause was helped by the hosts, who ended the game with nine men after Alex Sheppard and Lewis Fennemore were sent off.
Sheppard was dismissed after just six minutes when, as the last defender, he brought down Simon Woods.
Fennemore followed early in the second half with another straight red – awarded for leading into a challenge with his elbow.
Stiles, who only took over as Reds manager on Monday, had mixed feelings about the result.
‘Before the game I would have taken a point but with them going down to nine men, I have to feel we dipped out a bit,’ he said.
‘Still, we have picked up four points out of six without having had a single training session with the players.
‘I will take that all day long. At the moment we are taking things one step at a time.
‘Moneyfields scored both their goals from set-pieces and that is one area we need to work on.
‘The players are starting to think more positively and seem to be enjoying their football.’
The Reds took the lead on 41 minutes through Woods, who curled his 18-yard shot past the diving Steve Mowthorpe.
The league leaders hit back to level on the stroke of half-time when Dan Wooden nodded in James Guthrie’s inswinging corner.
The Reds regained the lead on the hour mark as Curt Robbins fed Josh Holmes with a perfectly weighted pass and the latter stroked the ball home.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Moneys hit back again.
Curtis Da Costa rose at the far post and sent his looping header over Luke Douglas in the Reds’ goal.
Fareham also survived a goalmouth scramble when the hosts felt the ball had crossed the line before it was cleared.
Moneys assistant boss Matt Jones admitted his side made life difficult for themselves.
He said: ‘It was a good point in the end.
‘The first sending off was probably correct but we were disappointed with the second.
‘After the first, we were still very much in the game.
‘The second killed us off but I am surprised Fareham didn’t put us under more pressure.
‘I suppose they are scrapping for results and didn’t want to expose themselves too much at the back.
‘We could have even nicked a win at the end. Importantly, though, we didn’t get beaten and it is a point nearer where we want to be.’
Moneyfields: Mowthorpe, Bailey, Da Costa, Sheppard, Fennemore, Giddings, Raine, Sheppard, Wooden, Guthrie, Paxton. Subs: Howes, Spurway, Tattersall
Fareham Town: Douglas, Maunder, Smith, Martin, Fear, Davis, Holmes, Kimber, Woods, Robbins, Ripiner. Subs: Grasham, Shadbolt, McCrombie