Fareham Town
Fareham Town
The Creeksiders

2017 - Fareham's year in review

31 December 2017

At the start of January, Town were in free fall, having not won in the league since September 28th and no wins in any Competition since defeating Hampshire League Fleetlands in the Portsmouth Cup in mid-October, so after another 4-2 defeat to Horndean, it was no surprise that Steve Stone was sacked as manager and Pete Stiles was appointed manager on January 8th.

His appointment brought instant rewards with a 3-1 victory at Amesbury Town. We followed that up with 2 performances which we should have come away with a further 6 points but ended up with just 2. At Moneyfields we twice took the lead against the hosts who were down to 9 men but had to settle for a point, whilst the following Saturday, we threw away a 2-0 lead against fellow relegation candidates Verwood to draw 2-2.

We started February on the road away to Bournemouth and 2 Bradey Norton goals saw us come away with the 3 points with a 2-1 win. February was to be a good month for The Creeksiders as Bemerton Heath 3-0 & Whitchurch 1-0 were defeated at Cams whilst impressive wins on the road at Bashley 1-0, Team Solent 3-1 were ended in the final game of the month at Bemerton Heath where we went down 2-1 after being 1-0 ahead at half time.

March saw us travel to this seasons form side Andover Town and blitz the hosts coming out 5-3 victors. Brockenhurst were also swept aside 4-0 courtesy of a Simon Woods hat-trick and Curt Robbins goal in this game winning our goal of the season. A midweek trek to a very wet Alresford (As always!) saw Towns good form go out the window as we were 2nd best throughout in a 3-1 defeat. Portland then visited Cams and we became the only side post xmas last season to avoid defeat to the eventual league champions in a very entertaining 2-2 draw, but Town were then the architects of their own downfall in a kamikaze defensive display against Fawley going down by the odd goal in 7.

April started with a late winner from a rejuvenated Simon Woods across the Solent at Newport. This indeed was his 15th in just 16 matches. The honours were then shared with Alresford at Cams. Town’s final home league fixture in a mirror image of this coming seasons saw Hamworthy United thrashed 4-0 with the Town supporters not wishing to see the end of the 2016-17 season as once more we became party poopers for Blackfield & Langley. Our 3-1 victory at Gang Warily courtesy of a Tattersall hat-trick seeing the hosts missing out on 3rd spot.

Overall:
PLD W D L F A
January 4 1 2 1 9 9
February 6 5 0 1 11 4
March 5 2 1 2 15 12
April 4 3 1 0 10 3

Total 19 11 4 4 45 28

We started this seasons league campaign stupidly early on 1st August with a difficult home game v Horndean and so it proved as The Deans came away from Cams with all 3 points after winning 2-1. The road to Wembley then started the following Saturday and after just 2 minutes must have thought it was all over as Bashley took an early lead, but no, at times we rode our luck but in the end saw off the Bash 4-2 with 4 different scorers. Petersfield were the next visitors to Cams and must have wished they hadn’t as Simon Woods hat-trick, a Luke James free kick and Josh Holmes saw them defeated 5-2. We then made our first ever visit to Baffins Milton Rovers and even now will be kicking ourselves for the awful defensive mistakes made which saw the hosts come out on top 3-2. Woods once more and Sam Kessack levelling matters for us early in the 2nd half. Cowes then made the mid-week trek across the Solent and must have wished they hadn’t as Simon Woods continued his remarkable scoring streak with all 4 in a 4-2 victory. Our interest in the FA Cup ended the following Saturday and started a dreadful run of form, luck and long term injuries at Salisbury, but we were far from disgraced on the day in a 3-2 defeat which saw Dave Hook make what must be one of the oldest ever debuts for a club at aged 47 ½!
The same couldn’t have been said 3 days later as Blackfield gained their revenge over the last day defeat as we were comprehensively outplayed but 2 goals with our first 2 shots in the 90th and 91st minutes saw us wondering surely not, but the hosts held on the 3 points. The following Saturday we travelled to Dorset and were 2nd best at Hamworthy United on their 3G surface. Hopes were high for Bank Holiday Monday and El Creekio, but again too many played well within themselves as AFC Portchester took home the points in front of a 200+ crowd.
September saw our awful run continue as again individual errors at Bemerton saw the hosts pick up their first win of the season 2-1, The less said about our display v Bournemouth the better! Our usual poor form in the League Cup continued the following Tuesday as 1st Division AFC Stoneham probably couldn’t believe their luck, and the same could be said of the next 2 games at Amesbury and then at home v Christchurch in the Hampshire Senior Cup. Town got themselves back into the game after being 3-1 down at half time, only for Max Whittingham in his only performance to gift the visitors a late winner.

Town’s luck then changed the following Saturday in the FA Vase when visitors Binfield missed a 2nd minute penalty and were made to rue it as Town ran out 4-2 victors. The long trek to Shaftesbury the following Saturday saw honours shares in a 2-2 draw.

October started with a home midweek game v the other side from the Island Newport and found their keeper impassable and with time running out 1-0 down, but inspired substitutions saw Towns 2 men from the bench George Davis and Miles Gibson turn the game on its head and a deserved 3 points for the Creeksiders. There was more late drama the following Saturday when Brockenhurst visited Cams and not for the first time a 2-0 lead was frittered away until an injury time penalty was despatched by Curt Robbins to keep the 3 points at Cams. Another midweek and wet trip to Alresford saw us return home empty handed the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat, but Town more than made up for it the following Saturday as we returned to Bashley and a very professional 2nd half performance saw us come away 5-2 victors. The following Tuesday we went 3 miles further down the road to New Milton Town for our opening Russell Cotes cup tie and were always in control in a comfortable 2-0 victory, our first clean sheet of the season!

That renewed confidence in defence was nowhere to be seen in the first 10 minutes of our FA Vase fixture vs SW Peninsula League Ivybridge Town finding ourselves 2-0 down but we showed some spirit to be level by the interval and eventually go through by the odd goal in 7. A swift return to Baffins Milton Rovers for the Portsmouth Cup saw Scott Hamilton tap home the winner on 90 minutes. Injury time winners away from home in local derbies isn’t something normally associated with Fareham Town sides!

The following Saturday Sholing were offering free admission to all and 288 took advantage, just a shame the game was poor and had 0-0 written all over it for most of it. Current league leaders Andover Town them came to Cams and at half time were fortunate to only be 1-0 down, but Town were left to rue those missed chances as the visitors stepped up a gear in the 2nd half and in the end left 4-1 victors.

November started with more kamikaze defending as Team Solent couldn’t believe their luck as they ran out 6-3 victors. Any hope of a trip to Wembley was ended the following Saturday in the mud at Christchurch, but what a painful way to lose in the 92nd minute after being ahead twice and for long periods of the game. Town (and the officials) then allowed themselves to be intimidated by Hamble Club and after 5 games without a win, the thought of here we go again must have been going through everyones minds, but that was expired the following Saturday as we gained revenge for our hammering at Cams v Bournemouth by winning 3-0 at Victoria Park. And then it was the big one as far as many Town supporters were concerned. Gosport Borough at Cams in the Russell Cotes Cup. We were too good throughout picking up our biggest win against the old foe in over 30 years in a 4-1 hammering. Scott Hamilton with 2, George Davis and 16 year old Matt Simm scoring his first ever goal for the club against the old foe, Just what dreams are made of! Lymington were next to visit Cams and for long periods, nothing happened but what an explosive end, 91st minute George Davis stabs home what should have been a winner for us, only for an even later wonder strike see the honours shared.
December –In our best performance of the season to date Alresford went home up the Meon Valley wondering what had hit them as Town ran them ragged in a 3-0 victory. The weather then intervened for a week or so before a trek across the Solent and despite several players missing, fans were treated to a hugely entertaining 1-1 draw at Cowes Sports. Matt Andrews netting for us on his return to the club, before probably the best Xmas gift possible for Town fans, A gift for Scott Hamilton saw us win El Creekio on the wrong side of it.
PLD W D L F A
August 9 3 0 6 20 21
September 7 1 1 5 12 19
October 9 6 1 2 19 14
November 6 2 1 3 14 14
December 3 2 1 0 5 1
Totals Combined 53 25 8 20 115 97