Following on from their 7-0 win over the strugglers, the Creeksiders went one better away in Southampton with clinical finishes and great play in a game they dominated from start to finish in September sunshine as they continue to recover from a poor start.
After a spell of possession for the hosts that saw them get two corners, Fareham took the lead after five minutes at the Waterside (Clayfields) in front of their away supporters. Great interplay between the Creeksiders’ attackers fed the ball to Ashley Tattersall who advanced and fired past the despairing dive of Hythe keeper Conor Manderson into the bottom corner. This was the ‘left backs’ second goal in a week after failing to score since 2017.
Fareham doubled their lead after just nine minutes as Charlie Cooper broke free down the left and cut the ball back across the penalty area to find Dan Bennett, who side-footed a shot into the corner. Down the other Lawson Bright fired wide with a strangled effort whilst Dylan Edwards’ cross was caught by away keeper Dan Kempton as the home side had a spell of possession.
But the visitors were simply more clinical and made it 3-0 on 23 minutes with a calm finish from Cooper as he ran towards goal. A similar move saw Ethan Jones make it 4-0 on 30 minutes before Tattersall and Cooper went close to making it 5-0. But it wasn’t long to wait as the fifth goal did come on the stroke of half time and what a finish it was! Curt Robbins, who had been dangerous throughout, picked up a loose ball in midfield, turning his marker and firing an effort into the top corner from 25 yards out. The referee blew for half time shortly afterwards with Fareham fans still gushing about the last goal, which some felt was a contender for the ‘goal of the season’ award at this early stage.
Unlike the first half, the second period started more sedately with the Creeksiders allowing their hosts much-appreciated possession in their final third. This let Hythe have their first shot on target as Dan Kempson was forced to tip an effort from Nathan Watkins (signed from Gosport on a duel signing) round the post and Ethan Chester headed over the resulting corner. But despite these home chances you always felt Fareham could step up their play and there was no surprise when the visitors made it 6-0 on the hour mark.
On the counter attack, a pass found its way to Cooper down the middle, with the midfielder allowed to advance forward and fire towards goal. His effort bobbled off the surface and took the goalkeeper by surprise, fumbling into his own net from 15 yards out. Graciously both team’s social media gave the goal to the Fareham player, but this would have been investigated by the dubious goal panel at higher levels.
Both sides made substitutions with the game over as a contest; Simon Woods and Luke Slade entered the pitch, the latter recovering from a short battle with Covid-19. But it was home sub Kwadwo Frempong who nearly made the first impact as his effort from range beat Kempson, bouncing off both posts before being cleared away. After this scare Fareham did make it 7-0 as they hit Hythe on the counter and won a penalty when Callum Benfield was fouled in the box. Curt Robbins stepped up and fired into the corner on 74 minutes to equal last week’s victory margin. But the Creeksiders went one better as they scored an eighth with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Moments after he had hit the side netting rounding Hythe keeper Manderson in the process, Simon Woods made it 8-0 with a fine solo goal. The striker picked up the ball on the halfway line beating several defenders before slotting into the area despite covering efforts byt the home side. It was a fine piece of magic that ultimately ended the scoring as both teams settled for the result, not wanting to risk injuries with big matches planned for midweek and the referee didn’t add any stoppage time with the result already decided.
This victory means that Fareham have completed a league double over Hythe & Dibden, scoring 15 goals over the two matches and have dramatically improved their goal difference as a result. The Creeksiders sit in ninth place after five games including one defeat and two draws after recent wins. A busy week continues for Fareham with away trips to Hamble Club (Tuesday evening) and Christchurch (Saturday afternoon) coming up over the next seven days, whilst their next home game will be played versus Alton on September 18 in the Wessex League Premier.