Fareham signing Daniel Sampey to make debut at Cheltenham

Fareham coach Ben Barnes
Fareham coach Ben Barnes
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’s new signing Daniel Sampey cannot wait to make his debut at Cheltenham on Sunday (12.30pm).

Sampey, 24, joins the National League conference west outfit from YMCC in Perth and has played for Australia A.

He said: ‘I am really looking forward to coming to the UK and playing for Fareham.

‘I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club from former Fareham player Jonny Kinder who played with me in Australia earlier this year.

‘I am delighted the team have made a confident start to the season and can’t wait to get started.’

Sampey flies in today and will be in contention for a starting spot on Sunday.

Fareham coach Ben Barnes added: ‘He comes with a reputation for being a good goalscorer so he should add a bit of bite up front.

‘We’ve got some good homegrown players but it’s always nice to bring in new players.

‘Hopefully they can be inspired by him and learn from him at the same time.’

Sunday’s opponents in National League conference west are just two points behind Fareham and Barnes is wary of their threat.

He said: ‘Cheltenham have got plenty of experience and are a hard side to break down.

‘We want to maintain possession well, play with the full width of the pitch and play with a great deal of pace.

‘If we’re able to run harder and keep our quality high, we can run the legs off them’

Although they won 4-1 last week, Barnes thought the scoreline was flattering and not reflective of the balance of the game.

So he will be stressing the need to produce a consistent performance over the 70 minutes and to get back-to-back victories for the first time this season.

Fareham will be without Ben Hibberd, who has a hamstring injury, and captain Alex Boxall, who has school commitments.

However, Josh Godfrey returns to the fold after missing out last week.

The second string take on Southampton tomorrow (4.30pm) in South League Hants/Surrey division one.

Meanwhile, Fareham’s ladies travel to Wanderers in South Clubs’ Women’s League division three B tomorrow (1.30pm) and the seconds host Havant IV.

Ady Adams is maintaining his attacking ethos as Havant men look to continue their 100-per-cent record in South League premier division one.

Havant are currently sandwiched between leaders Old Georgians and Sevenoaks on goal difference ahead of their home match against London Wayfarers tomorrow (1.30pm).

Havant have scored 13 goals in their opening two games.

Specialist drag-flicker Sandeep Singh is living up to his reputation and is the league’s joint top scorer with five goals.

Adams said: ‘We’ve had two very good attacking performances and we’re looking to carry that on this weekend.

‘I knew we had players who could score goals but last season we didn’t necessarily play a formation that suited them.

‘But this season I’m trying to play a more attacking style of hockey.’

However, Adams warned they need to be more careful at the other end of the pitch, where they have conceded five goals already.

‘I still want to maintain our goalscoring but we need to tighten up defensively,’ he said.

Elsewhere, Havant’s ladies will be looking for their first win of the season when they take on Reading 1A in South Clubs’ Women’s League division one at Havant College tomorrow (11.45am).

Great Britain Colleges player Katie Paxman makes her return to central defence.

She missed the first four league games after breaking a thumb in a pre-season friendly.

Reading are third in the 
league with three wins and a draw.