By Connor Steel
FAREHAM TOWN were consigned to their fifth successive defeat across all competitions as they travelled West to play Sherborne Town on Saturday afternoon; eventually losing two-nil against their in-form opponents at The GMS Windows Arena following a highly disappointing league performance that wasn’t helped by freezing temperatures and heavy fog.
It was a cagey start for both teams with Sherborne creating the first opening after four minutes; a poor clearance falling to Alex Murphy who was denied by a fingertip stop from Fareham goalkeeper Jordi Valero. This spurred the away outfit into action as Harvey Stock saw two efforts blocked at source, before Charlie Cooper dragged wide just moments later.
Joe Johnson and Sam Kessack then went close for Fareham with various shots before the hosts opened the scoring in the twenty-second minute; Murphy heading home off the crossbar and the goal was given amidst huge ‘confusion’. And this afternoon worsened as Sherborne doubled their lead thirty seconds later; Ollie Hebbard lashing into the left corner.
The half hour was passed without incident as Fareham attempted to respond; Cooper forcing a “brilliant” low save from the Sherborne keeper on 33 minutes and Johnson having another shot blocked at source. The home side were looking dangerous on the counter with Murphy being denied by Valero on 44 minutes; the half time whistle following soon after.
Sherborne continued to threaten upon the restart as a set-piece was nodded wide and Josh Williams sliced wide of the near post under pressure; the Creeksiders making multiple substitutions in response. And one of these changes almost made a quick impact as Ethan Quinlan collected a pass to set up Johnson; the angled drive slamming off the crossbar.
Home goalkeeper Liam Norris then denied Johnson’s great free-kick and Sherborne almost took full advantage of extra space with Valero having to deny a third goal at point blank range. Bradlee Shepard further fired inches wide after good work on the right side of midfield; Curt Robbins earning a yellow card for a late foul as the attacker tried a similar move.
These frustrations rose further for Fareham as Cooper was shown yellow for ‘stimulation’ after contact in the area; Ollie Kershaw seeing a drive drift wide of the posts in a final attack on 86 minutes. Both outfits saw a number of corners and free-kicks that broke up the play during its closing moments; fine link-up play and effort not enough for the Creeksiders.
This latest defeat means that Fareham sit fourteenth in the table after losing over half of their matches in this campaign and remain winless since mid-October. Graham Rix will be hoping to finish this streak as they now host AFC Stoneham on Tuesday evening before then travelling to struggling Lymington Town in the league and cup over four days to 13/12.
PICTURED BY FAREHAM TOWN FC: A header goes over the crossbar as Sherborne adjust to heavy fog in a 2-0 win.