Struggling Fareham hit rock bottom after loss to leaders

Fareham keeper George Harris could not keep Cardiff at bay. Picture: Mick Young (122731-11)
Fareham keeper George Harris could not keep Cardiff at bay. Picture: Mick Young (122731-11)
Dejan Stefanovic, left, with Harry Redknapp on Pompey's tour of Hong Kong in 2007

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Fareham slumped to the foot of the National League conference west table, following a narrow defeat at leaders Cardiff Metropolitan.

The injury-hit side had to tempt performance director Ben Barnes out of retirement to bolster numbers for the trip to Wales.

Despite a valiant display, they slipped to a 1-0 loss, through Mark Whatling’s 67th-minute strike.

With three games remaining, Fareham are now bottom on goal difference, with Havant and Isca also on 14 points.

Missing Robin Jones, who has returned to South Africa to train with their national team, Fareham were immediately put under pressure by the hosts but they defended with great determination.

Promotion-chasing Cardiff hit the post from close range, but it remained their only clear-cut chance of the half.

The hosts continued to press in the second half.

And, with 13 minutes remaining, they managed to pick up possession on the halfway line, break forward to send a bouncing ball into the Fareham D.

It deflected over advancing keeper George Harris and, although the shot appeared to be going wide, Whatling was on hand to tap home into an empty net from close range.

Fareham created two chances in response – the closest from Jon Potts, who sent a reverse-stick shot over the crossbar.

Elsewhere, Fareham’s second team suffered a 4-1 defeat at Trojans, with Alex Baxter getting the consolation.

The title-chasing South League Hampshire/Surrey regional division one side picked up three yellow cards which left them with just nine men at one point in the second half.

Callum McInally struck twice to secure a 2-2 draw for the thirds against Trojans II.

The ladies’ first team won 2-0 at Haslemere in Hampshire League division one.

Bex Close and Vicky Fields each struck to send the visitors into a two-goal lead by the 25th minute.

They came under pressure from Haslemere in the second half but kept hold of their advantage.

Finally, the club’s ladies’ thirds stay top of division six after a 3-0 triumph over Basingstoke V.