Fareham thwarted in Bournemouth league stalemate

By Connor Steel

FAREHAM TOWN FC were forced to settle for a welcomed away point in the Wessex Premier League as they travelled to Bournemouth FC on Tuesday evening; eventually confirming a three-all stalemate against their struggling opponents after this enjoyable topsy-turfy encounter at Victoria Park despite wet overhead conditions and bobbly pitch throughout.

The Creeksiders made a bright start and took an early lead within nine minutes when a clever free-kick from Brad Gale was played into the box to find Jamie Hosking; the attacker drilling home inside the corner for ‘one-nil’. Sam Woodward and Ethan Jones further saw openings to double this advantage, but they sadly failed to fully test the home goalkeeper.

A small lull then followed this momentum and it took nineteen minutes for the next notable chance for either strikeforce; Woodward seeing a shot wide of the near post after being played through on goal. Jack Breed’s low skidding effort was parried by the home goalkeeper on 24 minutes and an effort was headed inches over the crossbar before the half hour.

Bournemouth slowly worked themselves into this match and thought they had equalised as a great effort was rifled into the net, but this was denied by an offside flag. But it was one-all before the interval when a neat ball reached Joe Freak down the left and the attacker hit a cracking drive that rocketed into the corner, leaving George Bonney with no chance.

The hosts continued to push upon the restart and won a penalty on fifty-two minutes when Jones misjudged a tackle in the area; Freak stepping up and lashing home to make it 2-1. Substitutions were made as a response and this did help Fareham to equalise as fresh legs released Hoskings, whose low pass was converted easily by Woodward into the net.

Their equaliser boosted Fareham with Hoskings and Woodward going close in quick succession; both using this strong wind to their advantage as Gale further hit the post with his crisp drive. The Creeksiders did however score a third goal when Jones managed to toe-poke home past the keeper after an inital shot was saved and the ball wasn’t fully cleared.

The goalscoring was complete on 71 minutes when Bournemouth won another penalty and Freak clinched the hat-trick by slamming home past Bonney for 3-3; whilst two other home chances were missed. Down the other end Gale had an effort blocked on the goalline and the visitors were denied a late penalty in added time; the points being shared overall.

This result means that Fareham remain unbeaten in three matches and stay fourteenth place with 16 league games to play before April 20 alone, starting with the ties against Portland and Stoneham before the end of this weekend. A local derby against Baffins Milton Rovers awaits on March 19, as the impact of past weather cancellations comes into effect.

PICTURED BY FAREHAM TOWN MEDIA: Home defenders hack away dangerous cross as both teams look upon ball.