By Connor Steel
FALMOUTH TOWN confirmed their place in the FA Vase Second Round on Saturday afternoon as they made a 5-hour trip to Fareham Town; narrowly beating the Creeksiders one-nil with an arguably ‘deserved’ late winner at Cams Alders as they dominated most of proceedings in rain-soaked and windy conditions watched by a gate of over 200 supporters.
The visitors adjusted quicker to this weather and created their first chance within sixty seconds as Alex Wharton linked up with Luke Barner; the latter’s low shot gently brushing the far side netting from range. In response Fareham worked themselves forward as Ethan Jones ran through the away midfield and saw his effort saved by Morgan Coxhead’s leg.
Fareham were buoyed by the half opportunity and saw an intense spell of possession that concluded with Joe Johnson slicing harmlessly wide after doing the hard work, whilst the striker’s pass missed his target on eighteen minutes. Down the other end Falmouth should have netted the ‘opener’ through Luke Brabyn as the attacker only nodded onto the bar.
Brilliant defending was shown by Keiron Clark on twenty-seven minutes as the home defender cleared off the goal-line; Saul Thorpe blocking a powerful effort just before the interval. There was then a big opportunity inbetween for Fareham as Sam Kessack raced though at pace and was calmly denied by Coxhead; the scores remaining goalless at half time.
Further downpours signalled a messy period for both teams upon the restart with Fareham suffering an injury to Jones; the defender being replaced by Dan Bennett. But this didn’t appear to stop a wave of Falmouth corners before the hour mark and this led to another away chance after sixty-seven minutes; James Swan hooking his shot over from the right.
Substitutions then followed across both teams and it looked like one goal would settle this match; Fareham seeing both Kessack and Johnson going close in quick succession during a period of home pressure. Falmouth were further having success on the counter attack as Jacob George broke free on the left and was denied by a diving save by Jordi Valero.
Falmouth finally made one of their chances count on 87 minutes as a deep pass found Swan on the left wing, the right back cutting inside and nestling a shot over Valero via a deflection from Lee McCombie. This made it 1-0 to the visitors and this is how it remained at the final whistle despite a push for Fareham; Ashley Tattersall and Joe Ryan going close.
The Creeksiders will have an immediate opportunity to put this bad result behind them as they start a hectic fortnight of Wessex League football on Tuesday night; where they will face title challengers Moneyfields away from home. A visit to Brockenhurst then follows next Saturday, before ending this huge month with a home tie with AFC Stoneham on 31/10.
PICTURED BY FAREHAM TOWN: Away players celebrate their late winner in front of their fans as the hosts exit Vase.