Fareham Town 5 Petersfield Town 2: PETERSFIELD gave their travelling support a glimpse of the destructive power their attacking football possesses at Fareham on Tuesday night.
The only problem was they were already 4-0 down at the time and had left themselves with too much to do in terms of staging an against the odds fightback in this Wessex Premier Division fixture.
The Rams suddenly sprang into life on 70 minutes and seven minutes later they had halved their deficit and had their hosts on the ropes after Fareham had dominated the game up until that moment.
There was a fairly open start to the game and Fareham had the first chance to take the lead on 10 minutes when Miles Gibson cut in from the right and rode two tackles before hitting a rising shot which was sharply held by keeper George Hill.
The opening goal of the game came four minutes later. Callum Laycock’s downward header was parried by Hill and then partially cleared and the ball was eventually worked to the left hand side of the penalty area.
Laycock had the ball at his feet and when Joe Boggild went to ground early he sent the home defender tumbling for a penalty. Hill had no chance of keeping out Simon Woods’ powerful spot kick.
Fareham almost doubled their lead on 18 minutes when Luke James’ cross from the left was almost met by Curt Robbins at the far post but he couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
The home side did get their second goal four minutes later when James’ free kick from the edge of the box took a big deflection on its way towards goal and Hill could only stand and watch as the ball dropped into the net.
The third goal came on 28 minutes and it stemmed from a Petersfield attack inside the Fareham penalty area. The visitors lost possession and Fareham moved the ball forward quickly and eventually it found Woods just inside the Rams’ box. The ball sat up nicely for him to smash his shot into the far corner of the net.
James went close with another free kick from the edge of the box but this time it went just wide of the post and at the other end a Petersfield free kick took a big deflection but the ball dropped safely into the hands of Fareham keeper Luke Douglas.
Ashley Tattersall then delivered the perfect cross across the face of goal but it proved to be too good for the two attackers trying to force it home at the far post as both of them missed the ball.
Fareham got their fourth goal on 54 minutes after Petersfield had partially cleared their lines but a collision between two Rams defenders gave Josh Holmes a free run on goal and he dispatched his shot across Hill’s dive and into the far corner.
Then came the Rams’ late fightback. On 70 minutes their lively substitute Marcus Bedford slammed home his shot after he was picked out in front of goal by Grant Powell’s inch perfect cross.
Seven minutes later they got a second goal. The ball was again worked into the centre from the right and Luke Kendall hit a spectacular side kick volley into the roof of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
Fareham were wobbling at this stage and mission impossible could well and truly have been on had the match officials spotted a clear pulling down inside the box of a Petersfield player but no penalty was awarded.
At the other end Petersfield were leaving spaces as they pushed forward for Fareham to exploit on the counter attack and James Carrier managed to get his shot past Hill but the Rams keeper made a fine save as he stretched backwards to stop the ball crossing the line.
Hill couldn’t prevent Fareham notching up their fifth goal on 83 minutes when the impressive Woods latched on to a cross from the left and although the keeper got a hand to it, the Fareham striker’s shot still found the back of the net to complete his hat-trick.
The home side almost snatched another goal in the final minute when Holmes raced clear and took the ball past Hill but his shot was hacked away off the line.
Petersfield: Hill, Beauchamp (Kendall), Kershaw, Elward, Boggild, Brown, Giles, Kennedy, Walker (Bedford), Powell, Massaquoi (Essai). Subs not used: Wycherley, Hixon.