Lucky Fareham escape with draw

Shaun Baker, right, was shown a yellow card alongside Fareham team-mate James Seager
Shaun Baker, right, was shown a yellow card alongside Fareham team-mate James Seager
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Ben Barnes admitted his Fareham side were lucky to avoid defeat against lowly ISCA as they claimed a fifth draw of their Men’s Conference West campaign.

Although opponents ISCA had managed just one win all season prior to the clash, they were the better side and should have picked up a win after the 2-2 draw.

‘We did not play well, which was frustrating. Our decision-making on the ball was poor and we can count ourselves lucky to come away with a draw,’ said Barnes.

Alex Boxall opened the scoring with a fine individual goal, using his pace to beat the last defender before rounding the keeper with Fareham’s first attack of the game.

But the lead lasted barely three minutes as Tom Whitworth equalised for ISCA.

Fareham almost restored their lead immediately, only for James Seager to put his penalty flick wide after a foot on the line had stopped a certain goal.

With Seager and Shaun Baker both yellow carded to leave the hosts down to nine men, ISCA capitalised when Harry Skinner put his side ahead.

But Ben Hibberd then deflected the equaliser to rescue a draw for Fareham.

Although it was a better performance in the last-16 of the Knockout Cup the following day at Hampstead & Westminster, the result was a 3-1 loss.

Baker netted the Fareham consolation goal against their premier league opponents.

Barnes said: ‘We now have to make sure we can reproduce this kind of quality performance in the league games.’

n Callum McNally led the way as Fareham’s youngsters cruised into the last 16 of England Hockey’s Under-18 Cup with a 10-0 crushing of Winchester.

McNally scored five times, while Simon Carty, Cameron Duncan, David Roche, Harry Stampier and Jamie Young were also on target.