Fareham end season with record points haul

James Seager. 'Picture: Mick Young
James Seager. 'Picture: Mick Young
  • Fareham finish season with 29 points, beating previous best by two points
  • Seager scores 50th National League goal
  • Barnes proud of side’s achievements
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Fareham achieved their highest points total since joining the National League when they beat Indian Gymkhana 4-2 in their divisional finale on Sunday.

Ben Barnes’ side finished the campaign fourth in conference west with 29 points from 18 games – beating their previous best of 27 set in the 2009-10 season.

I’m hugely proud of the guys’ effort and what they’ve achieved

Ben Barnes

James Seager returned to the side to score his 50th National League goal for Fareham – and he was joined on the scoresheet by Josh Godfrey, Ben Hibberd and Daniel Sampey.

‘We’ve got 29 points so you’ve got to be pleased with that,’ said performance director Barnes.

‘There’s still massive areas that we can improve on but we’ve come a long way this season.

‘I’m hugely proud of the guys’ effort and what they’ve achieved.’

Hosts Indian Gymkhana went into the game nervously looking over their shoulder to avoid a play-off with the side second from bottom in National League conference east.

For Fareham, it was a case of bouncing back from the previous week’s disappointing defeat to Guildford.

Barnes expected a reaction from his players and he was pleased with what he saw.

He said: ‘The players worked hard for each other and they did everything I asked them to, which was great.

‘Indian Gym certainly threw everything at us but we bossed the game.’

Seager, back after four weeks out with a broken finger, marked his return with a goal after 32 minutes.

He deflected in a cross from close range after fine interplay down the left flank between Sampey and Jonathan Price to open the scoring.

‘It was James Seager’s 50th National League goal and a nice milestone for him,’ added Barnes.

‘It was a really nice move down the left-hand-side.

‘Price, who had just come on, put in a measured cross and Seager took one touch to put it into the goal.’

Sampey was unlucky not to extend Fareham’s lead after he saw his fierce shot come back off the post, with the Indian Gym goalkeeper well beaten.

It was a lucky escape for the hosts – and they capitalised on their moment of good fortune by going up the other end and equalising.

Fareham failed to deal with a ball in the D and Patrick Ashton popped up on the post to knock in the loose ball.

The visitors regained the lead just before half-time though, with excellent build-up play allowing Godfrey to finish from close range and put Fareham 2-1 up.

But Barnes’ side surrendered the lead once again seven minutes after the restart.

The ball was fired into the D and ricocheted off two or three players before falling to Rafael Jimenez, who shot past the keeper to level the scores.

Fareham regained their composure in the 50th minute as Hibberd restored the lead from a well- worked penalty corner, injected by captain Alex Boxall.

Sampey then had two further chances to get on the scoresheet but produced two fine saves from the home side’s goalkeeper.

The Australian’s threat finally paid off seconds before the final whistle when he scored from a penalty corner ,after deflecting the initial shot from Jamie Rawlings into the net from close range.

The goalscorer will fly back to Perth this weekend in preparation for the start of the Australian season.