By Connor Steel
FAREHAM TOWN slipped further into mid-table ‘territories’ in the Wessex League as they hosted Baffins Milton Rovers on Saturday afternoon in their first home game for five weeks; the Creeksiders falling to a narrow two-one defeat in this hard fought local derby watched by over two hundred supporters at Cams Alders despite the chilly winter temperatures.
The hosts adapted quicker to a bobbly surface and created an opportunity within seven minutes; Curt Robbins nodding inches over the crossbar from a corner. Charlie Cooper then saw an effort blocked at source before Lewis Colvin had a sublime volley from twenty-five yards out that was brilliantly tipped away by Baffins keeper Roux Hardcastle to his right.
However all home momentum came to a standstill on 23 minutes as Ethan Jones suffered a serious ankle injury off the ball and had to be substituted on a stretcher; leading to a long delay. Baffins used this ‘opening’ to re-group and scored the opener after the half hour through Thrhys Lukonyomoi who easily poked the ball past Jordi Valero from a low cross.
Late fouls followed as Fareham appeared to lose their discipline with Colvin and Joe Johnson receiving yellow cards in quick succession; this frustration showing in discussions with the officials. And it did ‘worsen’ for the hosts when Baffins made it two-nil before the interval; Kelvin Robinson collecting a pass and lashing home into the top left corner at range.
The Creeksiders lacked bite to respond upon the restart and were ‘fortunate’ not to be three-nil behind after forty-seven minutes; Lukonyomoi running through and slicing wide of the post under pressure. Down the other end Cooper went on a solo run that created space for a driving shot that was sadly straight at Hardcastle; the striker soon being substituted.
Injuries then began to disrupt this game with Valero and Johnson needing treatment as Baffins had a number of corner opportunities that were wasted; further substitutions signalling a lull. But fresher legs seemed to help the hosts as they reduced their arrears after seventy-four minutes; Sam Kessack hitting a lovely effort which nestled into the near corner.
Ollie Kersaw was looking threatening in the final ten minutes for Fareham and he almost got the equaliser with a driven skidding shot into the side netting whilst his fellow substitute Ethan Mason linked up with Kessack to drive over the bar. But despite this pressure and multiple corners, the visitors held on for a brilliant three points much to their huge delight.
Other results on Saturday mean that Baffins move to seventh in the standings, whilst Fareham have fallen one place to thirteenth position behind Hamble with games in hand. The Creeksiders will look to bounce back next weekend as they travel to Sherborne to begin December before they host AFC Stoneham three days later in a rearranged league fixture.
PICTURED BY FAREHAM TOWN MEDIA: An attacker drives towards goal under pressure from the Baffins’ defenders.