Two defeats shatter Town cup dreams

Fareham Town’s hopes of lifting a trophy in 2019-21 campaigns were shattered with two defeats in April, as they crashed out of separate competitions to end their season with a sour note; although they can be proud of their efforts as they fell short to sides much higher in the non-league football pyramid and faced two trips away from their Cams Alders fortress over recent years.

The Creeksiders’ first game was held on Devon FA HQs 3G surface on 10th April after work at the home stadium, but Fareham exited the FA Vase at the third round stage with a five-two defeat against Plymouth Parkway. Finding themselves 3-0 down just after half time with a man disadvantage following Garry Moody’s red card,  a quickfire double from Gary Austin gave Town hope of clinching a remarkable comeback with other chances missed by Tom Settle and Simon Woods. However Plymouth Parkway scored a fourth goal on the counter attack before Craig Veal sealed it with a fifth in stoppage time; adding to earlier goals from Mikey Williams, Colin Palfrey and a double by striker Ryan Richards.

Two weeks later on 24th April, Fareham made the relatively short trip to Moneyfields for their rearranged semi final in the Portsmouth Senior Cup 2019-2020 campaign. However despite a depleted home side from one league above and the Creeksiders hurting after exiting the FA Vase, it was the visitors who lost 3-1 in a tight match that saw all four goals scored in the first half at Dover Road.

In bright sunshine Fareham made a positive start but quickly found themselves 2-0 down with goals from Steve Hutchings via the penalty spot, along with a goal from strike partner Kaleem Haitham.  Another smart finish from Gary Austin again gave Fareham hopes of comebacks, but a second penalty of the afternoon for Moneyfields scored by Hutchings sealed a comfortable victory in which experience at the back proved crucial in warm spring conditions.

Whilst Plymouth Parkway’s FA Vase journey continues at the time of writing and Moneyfields now set to play Baffins Milton Rovers in a Fratton Park final, Fareham have ended their campaign until August as they turned down the chance to play in the Hampshire FA Senior Invitational Cup, perhaps worried about cup runs and the lack of fitness after four months off the pitch. But the Creeksiders can be proud of their displays in the two cup matches, which were played in unusual conditions without fans and limited training sessions; bring on the 2021-22 campaign

(Photograph courtesy of Paul Proctor)