Versatile Fareham player Bennett close to rare hat-trick of goal, assist and clean sheet in Wessex Premier win over Bournemouth Poppies

Versatile Dan Bennett was close to completing a rare hat-trick as Fareham returned to winning ways against Bournemouth.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 2:36 pm
Dan Bennett celebrates his Fareham Town leveller against Poppies with fans. Picture: Paul Proctor

The Reds took their Wessex Premier goal tally to 48 - the highest in the division - with an entertaining 4-3 win over Bournemouth Poppies at Cams Alders.

Bennett provided a first half assist before scoring Fareham’s second goal - and then went in goal at half-time after Dan Kempson was forced off with a shoulder injury.

‘Dan has played in goal on Sundays so he knows the basics,’ said boss Pete Stiles. ‘I looked at him at half-time and he said ‘I’ve got my gloves in my bag!’

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Dan Bennett in goal for Fareham after replacing Dan Kempson. Picture: Paul Proctor

Kempson couldn’t quite add a clean sheet to his assist and goal as Fareham, 4-2 up with seven minutes remaining, conceded a third to set up a tense finale.

Bennett arrived at Cams Alders in the summer keen to play up front. But starting the season in defence, he was moved to central midfield after having a ‘stormer’ against Hamble. He had started on the right side of midfield against Bournemouth and it was from there he swung over the cross which Bailey Newbury, on his first start for the club, headed Fareham into a third minute lead.

Against the run of play Poppies hit back to lead, with Benett sliding a shot under the keeper to level at the interval.

Kempson had damaged his shoulder colliding with a Poppies player, giving away the free-kick from which the visitors levelled.

Bailey Newbury, left, runs over to celebrate after heading in a cross from Dan Bennett (7). Picture: Paul Proctor

‘It was a funny game,’ summed up Stiles. ‘It wasn’t as close as it sounds.

‘If we’d taken our chances they could have collapsed - they were on the verge of it.

‘But they were the best Poppies side I’ve seen for a while. All credit to them, they tried to play decent football, but we were worthy winners.’

It was the sixth time Fareham had scored four or more goals in a game in their 13 Premier matches this term. And it was a much-needed three points after defeats at Stoneham and Blackfield in their previous two league games.