Fareham ladies ‘pride’ after fightback on Marlow ‘ice rink’ ultimately in vain

Fareham ladies suffered a miserable start in their latest South Central Premier 1 fixture against Marlow.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 8:35 am
Sian Edwards (black) scored as Fareham lost 4-3 to Marlow. Picture by Ian Hargreaves

They trailed 3-0 after only 16 minutes on a tricky surface, but eventually only lost 4-3 to a side who started the day in third place.

‘Not only did we face a very good opponen, we also had to deal with a pitch like an ice rink,’ said Fareham manager Steve Lemon. ‘Aside from the comic element of players regularly falling over, it was a relief that everyone appeared to get through the game without picking up a serious injury.’

Hannah Ward was recalled to the Fareham line-up and defender Aimee Timms was handed her debut only a week after moving to Hampshire from South Africa.

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It only took two minutes for the home side to take the lead when a shot across the area from Kerri Smith was deflected in off a Fareham stick.

A second goal came in the 14th minute when Kerri Smith took advantage of confusion in the packed defence at a penalty corner to force the ball over the line.

Before Fareham could properly regroup, they found themselves 3-0 down two minutes later when player/coach Jane Smith struck from another penalty corner.

Fareham showed great character and determination as they slowly began to fight their way back into the contest.

A great move out of defence, involving almost the whole side, ended with a Sarah Brimyard shot hitting the outside of a post.

Fareham’s comeback began from a penalty corner six minutes before the interval with a shot from Sian Edwards via a deflection.

As the second half began it felt like the next goal would be crucial. It could have fallen to Fareham, as the home keeper made a double save from Edwards and Rebecca Reavell in the opening minutes. But Marlow scored next after 41 minutes, Kerri Smith completing her hat-trick with a shot from a penalty corner.

Hannah Ward pulled a goal back in the 55th minute and Heather Batten made it 4-3 four minutes from time.

‘There was a lot of pride in the way we had dug deep and refused to give up,’ summed up Lemon.

Fareham are now down to fifth, five points behind new leaders Oxford who travel to Henry Cort (1.30pm) next Saturday for the first league meeting between the sides.

Havant ladies suffered a 2-1 loss at Henley, the winning goal coming five minutes from time.

All the goals came in the second period, with Maddie Peel having levelled for the visitors.

Elsa Hares was voted her side’s player of the match as Havant lost for the fifth time in seven league fixtures.