Fareham celebrate league return in Christchurch win

By Connor Steel

FAREHAM TOWN celebrated their long-awaited return to action with victory as they travelled across to Christchurch on Saturday afternoon; comfortably thrashing their struggling opponents three-nil following the “attacking and entertaining” performance in front of an average gate at Hurn Bridge due to this league encounter being switched from Cams Alders.

The hosts were forced to absorb some Fareham pressure before creating the game’s first chance within six minutes; a long ball finding Ewane Derick who sliced wide of the post. Sam Woodward went close down the other end in response as he further went down in the area to no avail, whilst Connor Underhill fired a drive straight at the Christchurch keeper.

Jamie Hosking dragged a shot over the crossbar on eighteen minutes and the Creeksiders were lucky not to be trailing shortly afterwards; home winger Nasim Meddah curling a skidding shot off the left post via a touch from keeper George Bonney. Fareham also saw Charlie Cooper and Woodward go close with their varying efforts before the half hour mark.

An injury stoppage helped to settle down proceedings and it was Fareham who were more likely to score first; a header from Ethan Jones hacked away and Lewis Shann dragging wide. But the Creeksiders did break this early deadlock just before the interval via a penalty for handball which was converted by Hosking despite efforts from the home contingent.

Christchurch enjoyed a spell of possession upon this second half restart and won a series of corners that ultimately did come to nothing; their best chances seeing a drive deflected wide from the angle and a header cleared off the line. The visitors had one counter attack as Ollie Kershaw broke into space down the left and picked out Hosking, who fired over.

Both teams made substitutions after the hour and this seemed to add fresh impetus into Fareham’s attacks; Matt Pates winning the ball in midfield and feeding Woodward who fired straight at the keeper after 72 minutes. But the visitors did double their lead sixty seconds later as Jamie Truckell hit a peach of a driven shot into the net from range on his debut.

Home frustrations then saw two players sent to the sin bin for dissent and this allowed the Creeksiders to fully seize all control, although they were lucky as a through ball nearly caught out the keeper. Fareham did make it three-nil with the final notable chance of the afternoon when Henry Foster was threaded through and the youngster killed off the contest.

These three points help Graham Rix’s team into fourteenth position in this table, but they do have several big games in hand due to a ‘difficult winter’ of postponements. They are due to play eighteen matches before April 20 with three over this next 7 days; first visiting Bournemouth on Tuesday before home ties versus Petersfield and Stoneham in four days.

PICTURED BY FAREHAM TOWN MEDIA: Attacker has attempt on target despite this effort of Christchurch defenders.