Fareham Ladies set to host fellow title challengers Barnes in biggest game for years

Heidi Podd (right) played a big role as Fareham hit back to beat Hailsham and stay top of the South Women's League Division 3B. Picture by Ian Hargreaves.
Heidi Podd (right) played a big role as Fareham hit back to beat Hailsham and stay top of the South Women's League Division 3B. Picture by Ian Hargreaves.
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Fareham ladies scored twice in three second half minutes to overturn a single goal deficit and beat Hailsham 2-1 to retain their slender lead at the top of South Women’s League Division 3B.

But coach Steve Lemon will have his girls working overtime on their short corner routines ahead of Saturday’s top of the table showdown with Barnes (Henry Cort, 11.45) after a host of set pieces were missed.

Winless Hailsham had let in 13 goals in their three previous matches, but three minutes into the second half stunned Fareham by taking the lead through Natalie Boyd, who had gone close shortly before the break.

Hailsham’s shock goal produced an immediate response. The tempo and intensity of the Fareham play increased and led to a series of penalty corners which the home team survived with increasing difficulty.

They held out until the 52nd minute when an attack down the right ended when Rachael Millington-Clark shot through a crowd of players to equalise. 

Two minutes later the Fareham comeback was complete after another attack down the right was launched by Heidi Podd, who took the ball into the ’D’ before finding Vicky Field, who in turn got to the goal-line and pulled the ball back into the crowded goalmouth.

Georgia Collins’ first shot was blocked but she calmly lifted the rebound over the grounded keeper and past the defenders on the line to give Fareham victory.

The win keeps Fareham top, just one point clear of Barnes, whose visit to Henry Cort is Fareham’s biggest match for some time.