Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Fareham Town v Team Solent 27/10/18

Fareham Town 2 Team Solent 2

IT was honours even at Cams Alders where Team Solent, on the bottom of the Premier Division table pre-match, built up a 2-0 interval advantage but had to settle for a point in the end. Following successive Saturdays of ‘shirt sleeve’ weather, the time of year kicked in with a vengeance today with a biting wind chill taking the temperature down to 1ºC. With three goalkeepers unavailable Solent had to call on their manager James (the Cat) Taylor to don the keeper’s jersey for the first time this season. That shirt was bright orange as the team gave a ‘debut’ to their new change kit.

Both goalkeepers saw some early action, Silvano Obeng was allowed space for a shot and forced home keeper Del Harding to push out his effort whilst a Simon Woods header from a free-kick forced the Cat to make a fine diving parry. Solent were soon in front when an Ethan Taylor pass sent HISHAM KASIMU clear of the home back line and his firm shot flashed past Harding and high inside the near post on ten minutes. KASIMU soon made it 2-0 when skipper Ryan Penny threaded the ball through and he was left the freedom of the park to run across the keeper and slot in a low finish. Solent were dominating proceedings as a further Penny pass picked out E Taylor on the left whose low shot missed the far post. Fareham’s Froggatt stumbled as he tried to manoeuvre into the box whilst Woods attempted a stooping header from a Tom Settle free-kick but failed to make contact. Overall though it was Solent who passed the ball with a confident air and always looked likely to add to their lead as Luke Mitchell’s shot went at the keeper after good work by Brandon Eaton and Obeng. HT: 0-2.

Mitchell drove over early in the second half whilst Curt Robbins had a close-range chance for Fareham but the Cat made a fine diving save. This half became more of a battle for the visitors and it was Fareham who eventually pulled a goal back when there was some hesitancy in the Solent box and the ball ricocheted and fell to WOODS who fired home on 72 minutes. This gave the home side the fillip they were looking for and Solent defender Luke Bennett did well to clear a dangerous low Kai Sterne cross at the far post. Solent had a great chance to reopen a two-goal lead when some terrific work on the left by Kasimu took him past a home defender and his low ball to the far post had two team mates on hand but somehow the ball got stuck under Obeng’s feet and an excellent opportunity went begging. Screams for a penalty came when Woods went down under a heavy challenge in the box but nothing was doing. Town did pull the deficit fully back on 87 minutes when ROBBINS swept the ball home after Woods was involved in the build-up down the left side. Sterne fired a later chance wide for Town. FT: 2-2.

A point takes Solent off the bottom of the table but that wouldn’t mask the disappointment that a decent opportunity for a full three-point haul somehow escaped them on the day. They can’t afford to let too many winning opportunities like this slip if they are to keep in touch with the teams around them in the ladder. [Gary Day]