By Connor Steel
FAREHAM TOWN suffered their first defeat in the Wessex Premier League on Saturday afternoon as they hosted early in-form outfit Sherborne Town on Saturday afternoon; eventually losing four-two against the “Zebras” after a watchable top four encounter at a crowded Cams Alders that was ultimately decided by great finishing throughout the second half.
The Creeksiders began brightly under glorious sunny skies and saw a chance within 20 seconds when Sam Woodward was played in; the striker beating his marker before having a shot saved for a corner. From this set-piece Sherborne hit a clearing deep pass into Oliver Hebbard who controlled the ball and easily placed home past Jodi Valero from 8 yards.
But the hosts equalised moments later as Sam Kessack was found in a pocket of space and planted a low shot into the right corner; thus making it one-all and extending a frantic start. Thankfully the match settled down with limited chances for both teams before the half hour; Woodward and Joe Johnson seeing a shot wide whilst Hebbard sent an effort over.
Sherborne controlled the last spell before half time and should have taken the lead after 36 minutes; Callum Thompson collecting a poor backpass and was only denied by the leg of Valero from close range. The defender then nodded wide at a free kick before Hebbard narrowly missed a cross; Keiran Clark drilling over for the hosts in a ‘stoppage time’ reply.
A change in tactics signalled home momentum as they tried to play long balls into the area and this nearly got a reward as Rowan Galloway found Woodward; the striker’s chipped shot hacked off the line by a backtracking defender. But the home side weren’t rueing missed chances when another great pass found Kessack and nestled a low shot into the net.
The hosts should have added a killer third goal after sixty minutes as Johnson broke down the side to reach Woodward whose shot was blocked by an incoming defender from six yards. And the visitors used this scare as a fresh impetus to attack; getting an equaliser minutes later as Thompson collected a fine ball and drilled his long range shot past Valero.
Momentum suddenly swung towards Sherborne as they made it 3-2 with twenty minutes left on the counter; Thompson seeing an effort saved by Valero before Hebbard converted into the left corner. Fareham did have a couple of openings to level at three-all, but were punished by Patrick Jenkins’ poked finish at close range to seal a deserved late away win.
Graham Rix’s team have now lost two games in a row after their league cup exit versus Andover Town on Tuesday and sit fourth in the league standings after four matches; although other teams have played less games around them. They will be hoping to bounce back with a home clash versus Portland United next Saturday before playing Lymington Town.
PICTURED BY FAREHAM TOWN FC: Away captain attempts to seal ball off home striker in the corner during first half.