Fareham ‘deserved’ first win of league season

Jamie Rawlings Picture: Mick Young
Jamie Rawlings Picture: Mick Young
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Ben Barnes felt his Fareham side should have beaten Cheltenham at home instead of drawing 1-1.

The tea-time draw at Henry Cort means Fareham are still searching for their first win of the National League conference west campaign.

Performance director Barnes said his side ‘battered’ their opponents but could not find that all-important second goal.

He said: ‘The guys are disappointed and I’m disappointed. We definitely deserved to win.

‘We played well enough but couldn’t get that elusive goal.

‘At times we were guilty of rushing the final pass or taking too much speed into the circle. Cheltenham were limited to counter-attacking opportunities.’

Gurmukh Bhamra got taken out by the keeper to earn a penalty stroke in the 15th minute.

James Seager stepped up to take it for the home side but he put his flick over the bar.

And that miss proved costly as Cheltenham took the lead three minutes later through James Astley.

‘It knocked us off our stride, as we were looking for our first win,’ said Barnes.

‘We were getting frustrated at 1-0 down but we managed to keep our composure.

‘We were desperate to get back into the game and we certainly got our rewards with the equaliser.

‘Mo Rahman won a penalty corner and Jamie Rawlings flicked it very hard into the middle of the goal.’

‘They had a couple of counter-attack opportunities but we mopped it up quite well.’

Fareham continued to press for the winner in the last 20 minutes but, despite creating a number of opportunities, were let down by the final pass.

Cheltenham came close to snatching a last-gasp winner on the break but the hosts had keeper George Harris to thank for keeping the score level.

Fareham won a penalty corner in the last minute of the game but Sam Cathie in goal saved well to deny Rawlings.

Barnes added: ‘We had a great deal of possession and we moved the ball around very well.

‘It was 75 per cent us and 25 per cent Cheltenham throughout the game.

‘We dominated but just needed a little bit more composure.

‘Mo Rahman did some very nice stuff going forward and looked very dangerous.’