Fareham coach Harris taking the positives after National Tier 1 Cup semi-final drubbing

Fareham Hockey first team coach George Harris believes his squad can benefit from their National Tier 1 Cup semi-final defeat against Premier Division Oxted.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 9:24 am
Phil Larcombe netted for Fareham against two divisions higher Oxted. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Phil Larcombe netted for Fareham against two divisions higher Oxted. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Conference West side Fareham were dumped out in the last four stage following a 7-2 drubbing, with Phil Larcome and Chris Davey the hosts' scorers.

However, Harris feels the scoreline was not a fair reflection of how his side performed against opposition from two divisions higher.

He said: 'It was a really good experience. We don’t take anyone along to just sit on the bench and watch, everybody played; it was generally quite a good experience.

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‘The last quarter, our fitness was good, we kind of maintained that and we pinched the ball in our attacking third.

‘We played a little bit deeper than we normally do - we’re very, very front foot and aggressive normally with our pressing.

‘I have to say they (Oxted) started very well and every time they got a circle penetration, came into the D, they came away with a shot or a corner - that’s what you expect from a team of that level.'

Fareham have also been taking part in the Elite Summer League.

They've won three of their seven matches in the round-robin competition which includes Havant, Brighton & Hove, Guildford and Chichester.

Harris is aiming to go out on a high and avenge a 5-1 defeat to Guildford when they visit Henry Cort in their final fixture next Thursday.

He said: ‘It’s been really good. As a club, we were just keen to get everybody out other than training sessions.

‘It’s just gone down really well, we’ve had really good attendances, we’ve had people just locked up not playing anything so it’s been good to get back.

‘We’ve had quite a big turnover of players over the past year so it’s been good to have a look at our youngsters and familiarise our players with a system of play.

‘Our results have been fairly mixed (in the Summer League). We had a close game at Havant a few weeks ago (losing 1-0) and we were probably by far the better team that day.'