By Connor Steel
FAREHAM TOWN opened up their account for this new 2023-24 Wessex League with a success over Hamble Club on Tuesday evening (August 1); eventually completing a three-one win at Cams Alder after a professional home display in front of over three hundred supporters despite a late comeback from their visitors that threatened to spoil this occasion.
The hosts started brightly and seemed to be dominant in the air during the earlier stages; Lewis Colvin nodding over a corner after four minutes. But Fareham weren’t rueing missed opportunities as they opened the scoring moments later when Ethan Jones’ throw-in was flicked home by attacker Sam Woodward via a huge deflection off Joel Ghosh’s head.
Hamble responded well to this setback and should have equalised when Will Gange broke through the defence to feed Matt Casey through the middle; only a defensive block denying what seemed a certain goal. Down the other end Jones threaded a perfect ball into Woodward who advanced forward, but saw his shot saved by away keeper Henry Newman.
The Creeksiders persisted to push forward around the half hour and saw a variety of openings to extend this lead; Curt Robbins seeing a shot smothered by the keeper and Woodward firing over. It wasn’t all one way traffic as Hamble were threatening using counter attack tactics as Braydon Douglas sliced wide in the 42nd minute with half time approaching.
Proceedings began slower upon the restart with Hamble seeing more control in possession and this gave them another big opportunity after 55 minutes; Jordi Valero having a thunderous strike blocked at source with the low rebounds being skewed wide from a tight angle. Douglas and Gange further saw chances to equalise either side of the hour to no avail.
Heavy rain then began to lash the pitch as substitutions followed across both teams; Fareham seeing their next chance after sixty-eight minutes when Joe Johnson dragged wide from Robbins’ cut-back. But it was to be two-nil minutes later as Woodward collected a loose pass and converted a clever finish into the left corner; seemingly truly killing this match.
Fans were proved wrong when Hamble reduced their arrears as a corner was floated inside the box and headed home through a crowd of players; Joe Lynch and Craig Hunt having efforts miss the target for an anxious spell. These nerves were ended in stoppage time however; a long clearance found Robbins who beat his markers and easily slotted a third.
Graham Rix’s team sit third in the Wessex League Premier on goal difference after one game, but all three points is the best way to start their new league season with an away trip to Blackfield & Langley on August 12. Attention should now turn however to knockout football as the Creeksiders travel for their FA Cup match versus Welton Rovers this Saturday.
PICTURED BY FAREHAM TOWN: Strikers find space behind lurking Hamble backline during 2nd half of league game.