Ben Barnes remains upbeat despite Fareham’s 4-2 defeat at Cardiff & Met in National League conference west on Saturday.
The visitors were drawing 2-2 with 15 minutes left but could not hold on for a draw as fitness took its toll.
Despite the result, Barnes has taken the positives from the game.
Fareham’s director of hockey said: ‘Cardiff are always a strong team at home – we needed to start well and we did.
‘Annoyingly, our early pressure came to nothing as our penalty corners were well charged down and being 2-0 down at half-time was not a fair reflection of the game.
‘We worked very hard to get back to 2-2 in the second half and had Cardiff on the back foot.
‘But we were caught on the counter attack, which took the wind out of our sails.
‘The head injury to Niall Stott also did us no favours – especially as we were winning the midfield battle at that time.
‘The scoreline flattered them a bit and the fourth goal put a gloss on it for them.’
Fareham were in a bullish mood ahead of the trip to Cardiff, having recorded wins on the bounce against Isca and Havant respectively.
They pressed well in the opening exchanges, but Cardiff grew into the game and went into the break with a 2-0 lead.
Fareham battled back into it, however, with James Evans and Martin Gough on target to level things up.
But Cardiff netted two late breakaway goals to take all three points.
Meanwhile, Fareham Ladies picked up a maiden win of the season against struggling Worthing.
In a poor first half, Fareham struggled and found themselves 1-0 down at the interval.
After stern words from coach Steve Lemon at the break, Fareham looked a different team after the restart.
Tara Lemon’s pass split the Worthing defence and Vicky Field confidently slotted home to equalise for the visitors.
Fareham continued to push forward, with Vikki Wildsmith hitting a post and Rachael Clark shaving the frame on two occasions.
They finally secured the win when player-of-the-match Sam Mitchell fired home from a well-worked penalty corner.
Lemon said: ‘I was pleased with the second-half reaction after I gave them the hairdryer treatment at half-time.
‘They certainly came out all guns blazing and were truly deserving of the win on Saturday.’
– TOM SEEBOLD