Hibberd comes to Fareham’s rescue

Ben Hibberd scored with 10 minutes remaining to earn Fareham a draw
Ben Hibberd scored with 10 minutes remaining to earn Fareham a draw
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Matt Cox scored for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland

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Fareham performance director Ben Barnes took comfort from the point his side salvaged from their National League men’s conference west trip to University of Birmingham.

Ben Hibberd’s late leveller cancelled out a double from the hosts either side of half-time, after James Seager had put the Henry Cort side ahead.

The 2-2 draw means Fareham are without a league victory since the 3-0 defeat of Cheltenham back on October 6 – a run of four games.

However, taking the positives from their latest league clash, Barnes said he was happy to come away with a point, which sees his side remain in seventh spot and one point behind Birmingham in the league standings.

‘I was really encouraged with the start but then we let the game get away from us in the second half,’ said Barnes.

‘We gave the ball away too cheaply, which denied us the chance to get back in the game, and in the end we were happy with a point as we did not deserve anything more.’

Returning to action after a one-week break, Fareham started the game brightly and took an early lead when Seager converted a penalty corner.

They continued to dominate and have their hosts on the back foot.

This led to a host of chances for the visitors but, unfortunately, they were unable to make their possession count.

And they were made to pay for that after Louis Jones was sin-binned for unfairly breaking down play as half-time approached.

Birmingham quickly took advantage of their one-man advantage and grabbed an equaliser through Samuel French.

With their confidence levels growing, they then took control after the restart through Richard Gear-Evans’ fine effort.

Victory appeared to be heading in Birmingham’s direction – that was until Hibberd stepped up to the plate to score with a rebound from a penalty corner.

Meanwhile, in Hampshire League division one, three first-half goals from Emily Masson (2) and Bex Close earned Fareham Ladies’ first-team a 3-1 win over Aldershot & Farnham.

The visitors found some form in the second half and were rewarded with a goal five minutes from time,

However, some fine defending from Emma Jones ensured that was their only goal.

Luke Cornish bagged a hat-trick as the in-form Fareham men’s seconds defeated Yately in Hants/Surrey Regional League division one.

Kent Langridge, Paul Metcalf and Ben Cooper also scored as the twos moved up to second in the table behind Trojans.

Other results: Fareham Ladies’ seconds 0 Fleet & Ewshot; Aldershot & Farnham 3 Fareham men’s thirds 0;

Fareham Ladies’ thirds 7 Romsey thirds 0;

Fareham men’s fourths 3 Poole 0; Isle of Wight 0

Fareham men’s fifths 5; Fareham men’s sixths 6

Gosport seconds 0; Fareham men’s sevens 9 Lavant 2