Ben Barnes remains positive despite Fareham’s 4-0 defeat to National League conference west leaders Team Bath Buccaneers.
It was always going to be a tough ask for the Henry Cort outfit and they could not match the intensity of their opponents, conceding two goals in each half.
‘The scoreline doesn’t reflect how competitive the game was,’ said performance director Barnes.
‘We should have gone in closer at half-time.
‘We had five or six good chances – there were three good saves, two missed the target and a penalty corner that wasn’t trapped.
‘In those kind of bigger games, you don’t get many chances.
‘Bath punished us and put their chances away.
‘They were just a bit more clinical than us.
‘You have to put your hand up and say the better side won.’
Fareham created the first chance early on but just two minutes later, Bath produced a series of passes deep in the Fareham half down the left flank.
The initial shot was saved but Liam Sandford fired in from the top of the D to give the visitors the lead.
Barnes’ side again created openings but Jon Potts and Daniel Sampey both missed the target from good positions.
Sampey was again denied by a fine reflex save by Tom Skinner in the Bath goal.
However, Andrew Eversden increased the lead from a penalty corner after 24 minutes, to leave Fareham reeling.
In the second half, the away side won a penalty corner on 42 minutes.
The initial shot was saved by George Harris but Eugene Malthouse was on hand to put the rebound in for Bath’s third of the game.
Tim Davenport extended the lead to 4-0 on 60 minutes from a well-worked move down the right flank, which found Davenport unmarked and he slotted his shot home.
Barnes admitted they were below-par in the second period but believes they are capable of taking on the league’s best
He said: ‘We stopped playing in the second half and Bath dominated.
‘We lost our grip on the game.
‘We’re going to carve out chances and we have the ability to compete with these teams.
‘We have to be a our best in these kind of games to get something out of it.’
Fareham II finished the match with only eight men but by then they had wrapped up a comfortable 2-0 win over Hampshire/Surrey division two strugglers Hamble at Henry Cort.
A spate of late yellow cards saw both sides depleted in the closing stages of an untidy, low key affair.
Fareham won courtesy of goals by Ben Cooper and Callum McInally.