Fareham hoping to bury home hoodoo

Paul Nicholls, above, and Fareham are aiming to earn a maiden home victory on Sunday Picture: Mick Young
Paul Nicholls, above, and Fareham are aiming to earn a maiden home victory on Sunday Picture: Mick Young
Matt Cox opened the scoring for Havant in their defeat at Cheltenham.  Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant fall to defeat at Cheltenham

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FAREHAM will be looking to put their home voodoo behind them on Sunday (2pm) as they look for a crucial win against Bath Buccaneers in the National League conference west.

The Henry Cort outfit have yet to win at home this season – something that performance director Ben Barnes is keen to address.

He admitted: ‘It is normally your home form which is your strength and it is strange that we have won all of our games away from home.

‘It would be good to break that duck this weekend.

‘We are certainly aware of that record.

‘We get good local support and we need to give them something to cheer about.’

Fareham can expect a tough contest this weekend.

Bath come into the game in third position and with serious aspirations of winning the league.

Barnes, however, remains confident, pointing out his side came very close to upset in the reverse fixture, losing a thrilling, high-scoring contest 7-5.

He added: ‘Bath are pushing for the league so we have to get at them early. We need to start well and build up the pressure against them.’

In attempt to change things, Barnes is also looking to recall the in-form Alex Baxter, who scored two goals in the second team’s win against Yateley last weekend.

From a strategic perspective, he is also hoping that the inside knowledge of former Bath player Rob Wilson will give Fareham an advantage.

Barnes continued: ‘We have some tactical plans that we are looking to put into place.

‘We hope to expose their weaknesses but also deny some of their threats.

‘Something that has been our weakness is being a bit too open defensively.

‘So, we are looking to win our one-on-one defensive battles.

‘We need to try and catch them out.

‘If we can deny them space, it will give us the opportunity to frustrate them and make it as hard as possible for them to attack.’

Something Barnes is also aware of is the increasingly tight relegation battle that his team has been drawn into.

With five teams separated by just four points at the bottom of the table, it is all to play for going into the last four games of the season.

He observed: ‘We are in a mini league, there are five teams in it – we have a great opportunity if we can get points this weekend.

‘There is definitely going to be movement in one way, shape or form. We have to make sure we are one of those teams picking up points this weekend.’