A ‘sleepy’ second-half display from Fareham handed the win to Guildford.
That was the verdict of Fareham performance director Ben Barnes.
He saw his side let a half-time lead slip in their penultimate match in National League conference west as they ended up losing 3-2.
Barnes’ team have struggled all season to put together a consistent performance over two halves and Sunday’s defeat epitomised that.
They came flying out the blocks in their final home game, scoring early and establishing a 2-1 lead at the break.
But then the wheels came off in the second half and Fareham never recovered from conceding a Guildford equaliser straight after the restart.
Barnes said: ‘We knew they would come out at us and we had to be positive.
‘To get the early goal was great but we didn’t get ourselves organised after the green card when Rob Wilson got sent off and it was a cheap equaliser for them to get back into it.
‘It was good to go 2-1 ahead at half-time but then in the second half we just went to sleep.
‘I was really disappointed, they let themselves down in that respect.
‘Guildford were winning more of the 50-50s and seemed to have a bit more desire to play and support each other.
‘We stopped running for each other. We stopped moving the ball on quickly so there were a lot of tackles they were able to get because we were pondering.’
The home side made the best possible start to the game by taking the lead within the first minute.
Captain Alex Boxall fed the ball through to Josh Godfrey and then an exchange of passes with Daniel Sampey presented Sampey with an easy tap-in from a metre out.
Two further chances to extend their lead quickly followed, with Danny Rawlings’ shot going over the bar and Sampey hitting his shot just past the left post.
Then Guildford got into their stride and equalised on nine minutes thanks to Chris Boot.
The Henry Cort side won their first penalty corner shortly afterwards and Jamie Rawlings’ powerful shot put the hosts 2-1 up.
They missed a great opportunity to extend the lead just before half-time.
However, they started the second half lethargically and, after a catalogue of errors, Fareham handed the initiative straight back to Guildford who equalised two minutes in through James Ferguson’s reverse-stick shot.
Things went from bad to worse as Guildford took control of the game and scored a third after 51 minutes.
Sampey continued to be a threat, though, and forced two fine saves from ex-Great Britain goalkeeper Simon Mason.
His counterpart George Harris, also an ex-GB player, pulled off some great stops.
But that did not little to mask Fareham’s deficiencies.
‘We just gave the game to them by just being sleepy,’ said Barnes.
‘There were some honest words said at the end of the game.
‘There was some serious chat about where they want to be next season and how we push on.
‘There’s been a lot of positives this year but if we’re going to do well next year, it starts now.
‘We’ve got to make sure there’s a response at training.’
Fareham’s final game of the season is away at Indian Gymkhana next Sunday.