By Connor Steel
FAREHAM TOWN registered their second league victory in just three days as they beat Blackfield & Langley two-nil on Saturday afternoon, returning to Cams Alders after three successive games away from home. Curt Robbins was the hero as the Creeksiders scored two quickfire goals in the second half to send a large crowd happy with their calm efforts, particularly after their amazing five-four win versus title-chasers Baffins Milton Rovers at the PMC Stadium in a thrilling Wednesday night derby.
Fareham started well in dry but windy conditions with the opening five minutes being fairly quiet as the home attackers won a series of corners, the latter helping to create their first opportunity after 7 minutes when Tom Settle’s delivery was headed over by Archie Wilcox. Moments later Robbins’ pass set Gary Austin through on goal with the striker finding the side netting, whilst a corner was met at the back post by Daniel Bennett whose looping header was cleared off the goal-line by Jack Nicholls.
Blackfield were looking dangerous as they worked themselves into the game, being denied a penalty as Owen Fee was tripped in the area following a dangerous run. On 22 minutes the visitors saw their first chance of the afternoon as good interplay found Sofiane Bacha, whose shot was well saved by a new Town keeper Jay Morris at his far post; which was followed up by another chance minutes later as Wayne Robinson fired a powerful shot that crashed off the crossbar before bouncing safely away.
Despite this flurry of chances for Blackfield, the hosts were controlling the game well and after a lull in proceedings they had the next chance in the fortieth minute. It came from another dangerous set piece from Settle, which fell to the feet of Ethan Jones and the defender saw his low shot blocked off the line by Chia Khider from close range; moments later a throw-in from Jones catching the wind and looking to nestle into the net via a deflection off Austin, the effort instead bouncing just inches wide.
The second half started in the same vein and Fareham finally took advantage of their dominance as they opened the scoring after 47 minutes. Another long throw-in from Jones caused chaos in the box and landed at Bennett’s feet to stab goal-ward, leading to pinball that was only ended when Robbins sent the loose ball into the bottom corner. It was nearly two-nil moments later as Keiron Clark saw a low shot well saved by Blackfield goalkeeper Amadeusz Skrzyniarz as another corner beat defenders.
But Fareham weren’t made to rue this opportunity as they doubled their lead just before the hour as yet another throw-in from Jones was allowed to bounce around the penalty area; falling to Robbins who converted a back-heeled volley into the bottom corner from a tight angle. This second goal then sparked substitutions and another short lull in proceedings, which was ended when a pass fell to Ryan Mackney who fired wide from twenty yards and Austin was then denied by a great defensive tackle.
Blackfield spurned a glorious chance on 74 minutes when a cross was met by substitute Ollie Connor who somehow missed the target when it looked easier to score; whilst Morris had to be smart in his dive as he prevented a snapshot from hitting the bottom corner. Down the other end Fareham saw a range of chances to make it 3-0 before the end of the game as Austin, Cooper and Wilcox all missed opportunities, whilst a defensive rear-guard sealed a rare clean sheet performance for the Creeksiders.
With these three points Fareham have moved into eleventh place and leapfrogged Blackfield in the process of winning this encounter, closing the gap to the top ten as Portchester and Alton dropped points. The Creeksiders will now host Horndean on Tuesday night after their 5-1 victory at Five Heads Park earlier this campaign, before hosting AFC Stoneham on February 5. And after a two week break they will play Hamble Club on February 19 in a rearranged match encounter from November.
PICTURED BY FAREHAM TOWN MEDIA: Curt Robbins runs away in celebrations after scoring in victory over Blackfield & Langley at Cams Alders on Saturday afternoon.