By Connor Steel
FAREHAM TOWN were left frustrated as they conceded a late equaliser against mid-table rivals Moneyfields at the Draper Tools Stadium on Easter Saturday; drawing one-all in this local ‘postcode derby’ despite seeing arguably the better openings through the league clash played on the artificial pitch at Havant & Waterlooville.
The Creeksiders started well under bright sunny skies and saw a first opportunity within sixty seconds; Mark Smith heading harmlessly over the crossbar from Charlie Cooper’s delivery. But they were ahead within just six minutes when Connor Underhill spun into the box and fed Jack Breed, who easily blasted his effort home.
It was almost two-nil moments later when good footwork unleashed Cooper in space and the winger brushed a low shot into the side netting from an angle; Ryan Mackney driving over the crossbar on 11 minutes before a fine passing move concluded with Moneyfields’ goalkeeper Dylan Kramer making a diving save to his right.
The hosts slowly earnt a foothold in the game after weathering this storm; seeing the first chance on twenty-one minutes when Jack Lee saw his shot parried out by Fareham goalkeeper Luke Deacon. Confidence was gained as a result as Moneyfields suddenly looked threatening with Lee and Callum Glen driving shots wide.
In response Fareham went up the other end and saw Underhill tease the defender before dragging an effort straight at Kramer; the home keeper further parrying a finesse drive from Cooper away from danger on forty minutes. And in added time Harry Sergeant missed a hooked shot for Moneyfields who trailed at the interval.
Again the Creeksiders started strong upon the restart with a tweak in formation; Casey Bartlett-Scott pushing forward to see his angled shot wide of the far post with Kramer scrambling. Breed nearly doubled his tally on fifty-four minutes as he was denied by a fine save whilst Keiron Clark saw his header cleared off the goalline.
Moneyfields responded with a series of set-pieces that saw Lee head over the crossbar at an angle just after the hour mark before Chad Cornwell sliced wide under pressure minutes later; Fareham seeing Mackney fire straight at Kramer and Dan Bennett heading narrowly over on 65 minutes from an in-swinging corner routine.
Substitutions followed across both teams as Bennett suffered an serious injury and was sadly stretchered off the pitch with his leg in a brace; this stoppage disrupting the previous momentum as Moneyfields regained a sense of control with Callum Reeves forcing Deacon into a good diving stop before slicing wide his rebound.
The visitors were punished for missing previous opportunities when Jack Chandler equalised on eighty-three minutes; sending a curling free kick into the top corner past Deacon for one-all. But away chances still came as Jack Nicholas and Bartlett-Scott went closest with various shots to no avail; the points shared at full time.
Combined with other results Fareham remain ninth in the table going into the final fortnight of action, where they are scheduled to play six matches due to previous postponements. A hectic diary starts with two home games versus Shaftesbury and US Portsmouth, which sandwich the trip to Laverstock & Ford on Thursday.
PICTURED BY FAREHAM TOWN: Jack Breed prepares to celebrate scoring the opener versus Moneyfields on Saturday afternoon, but their dream of three points are quashed by late home leveller in spring sunshine.