Fareham: Ben Barnes tells troops to stay patient

Rob Moore. Picture: Neil Marshall
Rob Moore. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Ben Barnes admitted Fareham are not yet firing on all cylinders following their 3-1 defeat to Bath Buccaneers on Saturday.

It was the Henry Cort side’s second successive defeat in National League conference west.

Although their performance levels improved on Sunday, Fareham were also knocked out of the English Hockey Cup – after losing 3-2 to Chichester Priory Park in the first round of the competition.

Performance director Barnes acknowledged his side are not playing to their potential but is confident the results will come if they remain patient.

He said: ‘We’re so close to clicking, we’ve just got to keep working hard and the quality will come through.

‘We started really well against Bath and carved out really good opportunities.

‘We were very much in it in the first half and had two chances flash just wide of the post.

‘We gave them the second goal – it was a disappointing goal to concede after a counter-attack from the halfway line.

‘We then dropped a bit of intensity in the second half.’

Fareham started strongly in the opening 10 minutes and created a number of chances in the Bath D but failed to convert.

The visitors began to get more of a foothold in the game and then capitalised when Barnes’ side turned over possession in their own half.

Following a series of passes into the D on the break, John Sterlini was able to apply the finish for Bath.

The score remained 1-0 to the break before the visitors extended their lead on 44 minutes through Peter Scott, again from a Fareham turnover.

Fareham pushed to get back into the game and won a penalty corner on 63 minutes.

The initial shot from James Rawlinson was blocked but Rob Moore was on hand to slot home the rebound for his first league goal for the club.

The hosts pressed in the dying minutes to get a result but made a poor pass moving out of defence, presenting Matthew Ming with an easy goal on 68 minutes to make it 3-1.

Fareham rested five players for the cup clash 24 hours later against league rivals Chichester, with Barnes giving game time to some promising youngsters.

Chichester took the lead at Henry Cort but Chris Davey equalised with a nice spin and shot from the top of the D.

James Seager netted a scrappy goal to make it 2-1 but the visitors levelled the score when a high ball into the D was deflected in at the post.

Chichester’s third goal was scored from a rebound at a penalty corner.

Barnes said: ‘We played some nice hockey and I’m pleased we bounced back from Saturday’s disappointment.’

Fareham are now second bottom of the table ahead of a trip to Cardiff, who are currently unbeaten and are top of the league, next weekend.