Fareham clinched an England Hockey National League qualifying play-offs place with a 2-0 win over Oxford Hawks, the third placed Western Conference side, Niall Stott scoring second half goals in the 48th and 62nd minutes.
It’s teed up a three-way play-off, also involving Peterborough and Preston.
It really was a case of After Eights for Havant who seven days after clinching the title, crashed 8-3 at Olton & West Warwicks.
Chichester completed a disappointing season, losing 3-1 at home to Team Bath Buccaneers.
Full reports later.
Fareham expect to have former Great Britain Olympian Richard Mantell back for Sunday's Western Conference play-off showdown with second placed Oxford Hawks at Henry Cort, 2pm.
It's a match Fareham ideally need to get something from, in order to stay ahead of Bristol University to see who grabs the seventh place play-off spot, both teams having reached the 20 point mark on the eve of the final round of matches.
Fareham go into the Oxford match with a nine-goal superior difference to Bristol, whose final game is away to enigmatic Birmingham University.
Quite simply, win, lose or draw, Fareham must better Bristol University's result in the Midlands.
No such problem with champions Havant, who will want to end their league programme on a successful note at third placed Olton & West Warwicks. Havant tied up the league title with a 3-1 win over Chichester, who host Team Bath, 1.30pm.
Trojans ladies, meanwhile, chase a sixth straight win when they host lowly Barnes in the Investec Women's WC at Stoneham Lane on Saturday.
They are certain to finish third, as per last season, behind runaway champions Stourport and Gloucester City, the runners-up.
Trojans men, runners-up to Guildford in South League Premier Division 2, wind up their programme against Tulse Hill & Dulwich.
Newly crowned Western Conference champions Havant face three crucial Premier Division play-offs matches in three days over two weekends in early April.
They head for Nottingham's well appointed Beeston headquarters to play Northern winners Bowdon, from Cheshire, on Sunday April 7 at 3.30pm, immediately after hot favourites Old Georgians have played Exeter University.
Six days later (April 13), Havant face an early morning showdown with the West Country students at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (10 am) before what they hope will be a Premier Division promotion decider against Old Georgians in the afternoon.
* Havant's Hampshire Cup semi-final tie at Andover, scheduled for April 13, will now have to be rescheduled.
Fareham Boys are through to next month’s England Hockey Tier 1 Under-16 national championship finals in Yorkshire.
Building on their success in the initial qualifying round, when they beat Bournemouth (7-1), Haslemere (3-2), Trojans (6-1) and Winchester (5-4), Fareham powered on to win all three matches in the South group at Charterhouse.
A brace from England juniors prospect Fergus Jackson and a single strike from Rory Buckeridge got Fareham away to a flying start with a 3-0 win over Bromley & Beckenham.
Jackson, Adam Shergold and Alex Ellison put paid to Guildford 3-1, while Amersham & Chalfont were put to the sword 5-2, with Sam Ratliffe (2), Jackson, and Adam and Alex Beckett on target.
Fareham’s 100 per cent record from seven matches has swept them into the last eight, with Canterbury, Clifton Robinsons and Repton School providing the initial pool opposition at Wakefield HC, near Leeds, over the weekend April 6 and 7.
Fareham Under-16 squad: Back (from left): Chris Davey (Tactician), Noah Murphy, Joe Caine, Adam Shergold, Alex Ellison, Finn Coleman, Matt Walton, Alex Beckett, Ollie Slingsby, Ed Smith, Stephen Ratliffe(coach). Front: Colin Bradbury (Head coach), Rory Buckeridge, Soren Golding, Jay Green, Sam Ratliffe, Ollie Jameson, Fergus Jackson.
Havant clinched England Hockey’s Western Conference title with a 3-1 win over near neighbours Chichester – a derby which attracted a sun kissed crowd in excess of over 250 to the College touchlines.
It sets Havant up for a tilt at next month’s play-offs for 2019/20 Premier Division status, see separate article.
First half goals by teenager Ethan Hoddle and Pakistan international Atiq Ashad gave Havant a 2-0 interval lad, which Chichester’s Alex Messenger trimmed before Chris Smith settled it with a third in the closing stages.
It didn’t help Chichester’s cause that talented teen Alex Pendle was sidelined with a painful gluteal muscle injury. Instead of causing Havant problems with his tricky stick-work, the exciting England U18 prospect spent the 70 minutes operating a roof-top video camera.
It was clear from the first whistle that Havant were very nervous and within 30 seconds Chichester won their first penalty corner. The ball was not stopped at the top of the circle, but Chichester did enough to feed the ball back into win a retake. The second attempt produced a shot wide of the goal.
In the fourth minute Chichester missed an almost open goal, the shot going the wrong side of the post when it looked easier to score. Soon afterwards a slick move between Matt Cox and Mike Deller-Merricks presented Cox with a return pass in front of goal but his diving deflection went wide.
Havant slowly started to get a foot hold in the game and began to test the Chichester defence. Atiq Arshad, who had jetted in from Pakistan barely 24 hours earlier, showed early signs of brilliance and worked well with Charlie Stubbings, who was buzzing everywhere. Charlie created several opportunities driving into the circle, but there were no Havant forwards who could convert the chances.
Havant did, however, did take a slightly fortuitous lead in the 18th minute after another Charlie Stubbings cross was saved by former hosts keeper Chris Bristow, but the rebound ricochet to Ethan Hoddle and then off a defender’s stick into the visitors goal. 1-0 Havant.
But Havant’s opener was completely over shadowed two minutes before half-time when Atiq Arshad picked up a lose ball and drove into the Chichester circle.
As Chris Bristow came out to challenge, and fell to the ground, Atiq lifted the ball into the roof off the net with a clever reverse shot to give Havant a 2-0 half time lead.
Arshad has played over 30 times for Pakistan and was rated as ‘one of the players to watch’ in last year’s Hockey World Cup.
After the re-start Havant won their first penalty corner in the 37th minute, which Bristow kept out with a double save. The goalkeeper was in action two minutes later after Hoddle and Stubbings worked well together with only Bristow to beat, but he again rose to the challenge.
The next goal was always going to be important and it fell to Chichester.
A free hit out of defence was turned over in midfield and Chichester attacked into the right of the circle where Alex Messenger fired the ball past the un-sighted Tim Hoare, who had replaced Polish international Maciej Pacanowski in the Havant goal.
Despite this setback Havant picked up the pace and continued to probe the Chichester defence with a high number of circle entries.
It was clear that Chichester tried to snuff out Matt Cox’s distribution from centre half, but Havant rotated players through midfield producing a number of options to attack.
Chichester counter attacked at every opportunity and won a penalty corner in the 53rd minute, which they switched to no effect, but won a retake.
From this re-take Tim Hoare (who deputised brilliantly for Pacanowski) pulled off a great safe wide to his right.
From this corner Havant created a quick break and won their second penalty corner of the game after Mike Deller-Merricks had found a Chichester foot in the circle. Once again Havant were thwarted with a double Bristow save.
Havant continued to look dangerous and were rewarded in the 66th minute from a third penalty corner.
Once again Bristow saved the first flick, but it ballooned up into the air where Chris Smith volleyed the ball into the netting to tie up a 3-1 victory – and the Western Conference title !
Trojans seconds clinched runners-up spot in Hampshire League Division 2 with a 6-0 win over relegated Hamble at Satchel Lane, a result which ensured they finished the season one point ahead of third placed Poole. Finn Berg and Adam Scholey each scored twice, with singles by Matt McNeill and Patch Neagle.
Trojans team. Back (from left:) Alex Kleyn, Patch Nagle, Jack Medlock, Charlie Harrigan, Chris Jackson, Jack Meacher, Alex Hudson. Front: Angus Haigh, Paul Hilton, Matt McNeill, Finn Berg, Nathan Hastings, Adam Scholey, Sam Matthews. Goalkeeper Phil Roch.
Emily Harris, left, scored five first half goals as Peter Symonds' thrashed Greenhall (Huddersfield) 9-0 to reach next month's English AOC Colleges Cup final.
PSC were 6-0 up at the break. Stella Bendoni (2), Imo Lea, and Bobs Cooper completed the rout.
PSC boys play their AOC Cup semi-final against Godalming at Surbiton on Wednesday.
Winchester are through to the England Hockey Under-14 Boys finals after victories over Clifton College, Bournemouth and Team Bath in the regional play-offs in Bristol.
They came from behind to beat Clifton 2-1 in their opening game, Max Wedderburn and Dom Fernando scoring to cancel out a 1-0 deficit.
Ollie Lander scored twice, initially from a penalty flick and later a decisive short corner, to give Winchester a 2-0 win against Bournemouth, who drew their first match with Team Bath.
Winchester completed a clean sweep by beating Bath 2-1 - Henry Crompton converting a penalty corner for a half-time lead, which was cancelled out. Winchester had to demonstrate their defensive prowess before Wedderburn deflected home their winner.
Winchester Under-14 squad was: Ollie Lander, Joe Jenkinson, Henry Crompton, Dom Fernando, Tommy Weatherell, Matt De Lara, Alfie Marsh, Thomas Talks, Blake Sanderson, Finn Kilpatrick, Max Wedderburn, Tommy Finney, Jack Hobkirk, Harry Loveridge, Josh Long.
Southampton ladies have clinched a third-place South Women’s League Division 3B promotion spot, even though they lost their penultimate match of the season to lowly Barnes.
Fareham’s 4-0 defeat at champions designate Wanderers means Southampton definitely finish third and will contest the sole remaining promotion spot with as yet undecided Division 3A opponents on April 13.
Close early on through Lauren Carter, Southampton took a first half lead through Zoe Stride, who latched on to a perfectly weighted pass from Liv O’Mahony.
But a subsequent penalty stroke miss, following a foul on Sue Merry, was to cost Southampton dear as Barnes equalised through Izabel Millar before half-time.
Carter smashed a shot corner against the Barnes upright before the Thames-side visitors grabbed their winner from a controversial penalty stroke by Madi Clark, awarded against Emma White.
Frustrated, Southampton missed a host of chances before the final whistle.
Fareham’s prospects of finishing fourth will depend entirely on the outcome of Saturday’s final match of the season against Lewes, who also have 36 points.
Fareham pulled off a crucial 2-1 win at Bristol University to keep their hopes of a seventh-place Western Conference play-off place alive.
The result means that Fareham have inched above the Bristol students in the log by virtue of a better goal difference – but their eventual final place will hinge on the outcome of Sunday’s last round of matches when high riding Oxford Hawks come to Henry Cort and Bristol go to Birmingham University.
Basically, Fareham must ‘better’ Bristol’s result in the Midlands, but Ed Ellis’s Hawks team is buzzing after scoring 18 goals in its last three straight wins !
Fareham came from behind to win at Coombe Down – Luke Crocker firing the students ahead a minute before the half-time break.
Within a minute of the restart Fareham were level with Niall Stott converting a penalty corner. George Davey’s second in the 55th minute proved a winner.
Fareham head coach Ben Barnes said: “I was really pleased with how we held our nerve and slowly but surely ground them down second half and won.
“Real character and discipline was demanded before the game and the lads delivered. “John Price had really good game at the back, Niall Stott and Alex Boxall showed their experience as well to keep the game at our tempo for the last ten minutes.”
Bristol withdrew their goalkeeper and played with a kicking back for the last five minutes and within Stott yellow carded Fareham had to do some serious defending and protected the circle well.
“We had three really good chances to go 3-1 up and kill the game, but failed to take those opportunities which would have settled the nerves,” Barnes added.
* Scotsman Christian McKenna notched a hat-trick as Fareham second won 4-1 at Barnes in Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 1.
A fifth successive win – a 4-1 triumph at relegated Oxford Hawks – has secured a second consecutive third place finish for Trojans in England Hockey’s Women’s Western Conference.
Last season, they led the table for long periods on the springboard of eight straight wins, but tailed away during the second half of the campaign. In almost direct contrast, there are finishing the season on a high and have matched their 2018 finish position.
Trojans were 2-0 up inside six minutes against Oxford Hawks, a neat move between Heather Batten and Amy Sheehan providing Cita Haines with a simple tap-in, and then Jill Toombs making it 2-0 from a short corner won by Martha Taylor.
Their superiority was emphasised after 21 minutes with a third penalty corner strike by Batten, but Trojans’ 3-0 interval lead was tested a little more after the break with Hawks enjoying more of the ball, but never really threatening.
Picking up on a free hit from Batten, Sheehan sped fully 35 yards with the ball before rounding the Oxford goalkeeper to make it 4-0.
Hawks did respond with an untidy short corner consolation goal by Katie Lowe five minutes from the end.
Havant will be crowned England Hockey Western Conference champions if they beat neighbours Chichester in front of an anticipated bumper Havant College crowd in the Sunday afternoon sunshine, 2pm pb.
But they are without their highly influential goalkeeper Maciej Pacanowski (pictured above by Neil Marshall), who has been called up to play for Poland in the Azlan Shah Tournament in Malaysia. Jamie Stubbings is also absent, gone travelling.
Fareham, meanwhile, have travelled west for a potential play-off decider against Bristol University at Coombe Down, where they must win to stand any chance of qualifying for the seventh place play-offs.
Trojans are runners-up behind Guildford in South League Premier Division Two - and that's official !
While a Ross Fergusson goal at Wycombe was sufficient to earn Guildford a 1-0 win, Trojans unexpectedly stumbled 4-3 to Staines, despite goals by Richard Aves, Dan Ferrier, and South African hit man Sinoxolo Mbekeni.
Winchester could finish as low as third from bottom in SPL1 after a 5-2 defeat at promoted Spencer (Jack Culmer, Rory Penrose), while Southampton groomed Oli Knight produced arguably the goal-scoring feat of the season by getting all five of London Edwardians' goals in the 5-1 win over Banbury. He has 23 goals this season.
Scotsman Christian McKenna bagged a hat-trick as Fareham seconds won 4-1 at Regional Division 1 hosts Barnes, where teenager Fergus Jackson was also on target.
Peter Symonds College
Back (from left): Louise Hardy, Sam Callaway, Jess Creagh, Shelia Forbes, Emily Harris, Rachel Roberts, Georgia Collins, Maddy Lambrou. Front: Ellie Lloyd-Tunstall, Miranda Collings, Izzy Richardson, Laura Johnson, Imo Lea, Abbey Buxton, Flossie Williams, Macy Leon.
Peter Symonds' face Huddersfield-based Greenhead College in the AoC Girls Cup semi-final on Wednesday morning (March 20), push back 10.30am.
PSC boys play Godalming in their semi-final at Charterhouse, provisionally on March 27.
Trojans are in sight of a creditable third place finish in England Hockey’s Women’s Western Conference after a 2-1 win over Exe – their fifth victory in six starts anda fourth in a row.
If win at Oxford Hawks on Saturday, they ought to finish third behind Stourport and Gloucester City.
The wet and cold weather conditions at Stoneham Lane made things difficult, but Trojans got off to a good start, moving the ball round the pitch well with Heather Batten creating problems in the middle of the pitch and Daisy Strange bossing it down the right-hand side throwing some telling aerial passes up the pitch to the forward line.
Trojans broke the deadlock after 14 minutes Amy Sheehan. Batten beat two defenders, drove to the line and pulled the ball back to Sheehan, who calmly rounded the keeper and pushed the ball into the back of the net for her ninth goal of the season.
Trojans joy was short lived. Barely a minute later, Exe equalised from a Kelly Luscombe short corner, but Trojans held firm as the Devon visitors pushed forward failing to gain any circle entries.
Ten minutes before half-time Trojans scored a second goal, which proved to be a winner.
They were awarded a short corner which was converted after Zoe Gittens drag flicked the ball and Batten was able to get on the end of it after an Exe player had made a partial block.
Trojans called the tune for the bulk of the second half, with Jill Tombs going close, but not adding to their goal tally created an anxious finish as Exe pressed, without success.
It’s now or never for Trojans in their fading quest to lift the South League Premier Division 2 title.
If leaders draw or win their final game at Wycombe on Saturday, the trophy will be theirs.
But if the third placed Buckinghamshire club were to become only the second club this season to beat Guildford, then the door will remain ajar for Trojans, provided they roll over Staines and Tulse Hill & Dulwich.
It’s not beyond possibility, though – Wycombe are in a rich vein of form, having scored 20 goals in winning their last five matches since Trojans drew 0-0 with them.
While Guildford were mauling Tulse Hill 5-0, Trojans eased to a 4-0 win at relegated Slough, where KES youngster Matt Bell, Ben Cole, Paul Hilton, and Scott Summers were on target.
* Fielding a depleted side, Trojans exited the Tier 2 Championships at the quarter-final stage, beaten 7-2 by powerful Surbiton.
Southampton will clinch a South Women’s League Division 3 promotion play-off slot if they beat second-from-bottom Barnes at the Sports Centre on Saturday, noon.
Victory will take them to 44 points – a total beyond the reach of fourth-placed Fareham, who face a daunting penultimate weekend visit to leaders Wanderers in any event.
If Southampton do win, they will face a sudden death pay-off match against the eventual third place finishers in Division 3A, where four clubs are scrapping it out.
Southampton moved a step closer to a third place finish with a 1-0 win in pretty abysmal conditions at Aldershot & Farnham, where Abi Woodcock got a late second half winner.
Two goals in each half enabled Fareham to beat Teddington 4-0 at Henry Cort, where Rachael Clark gave Steve Lemon’s charges an early advantage.
Vicky Field scored goals either side of half-time to give Fareham a 3-0 lead, which Laura Pendleton improved midway through the second period.
Fourth-placed London Edwardians are one point away from securing promotion from the South League to next season’s revamped England Hockey feeder league.
A second half goal by Jonathan Wilkes-Green earned a 1-0 win over Winchester, whose strong defensive display failed to be capped off by their front men not converting one of a handful of excellent chances.
Both sides had a number of chances throughout the first half at Kings’, but it was Edwardians who held the majority of possession.
Kent Langridge could not find willing takers as he flashed the ball across the goal in the early stages, while Winchester keeper Dave Jones made the first of a number of great saves away to his right at a penalty corner, one of a series of set-pieces the London side won in the middle of the first half.
Despite Edwardians dominance, the Winchester defensive unit, led by Craig Sims (pictured by Jon Player), was able to dilute the majority of the first half danger, along with fellow central defenders James Pauley and Micah Smithard.
At the other end chances fell to Ben Hibberd, who just fading to connect with a ball to the far post, and Rob Goodchild, who had raced the length of the field to join Hibberd and Todd Hutcheson in a breakaway, but was unable to make contact with the ball at the critical moment.
Buoyed by a sturdy first half performance, the second half could not have started worse for Winchester as, within a minute, Edwardians had their precious lead as another attack found its way through the defence and Jones was forced into a good save. Unfortunately for Jones, the rebound found Jonathan Wilkes-Green, who slid the ball over the goalkeeper.
Desperate to find a way back into the game, Winchester's discipline took a notch down and rarely played the rest of the half with a full compliment of players.
The home team had fewer chances in the final quarter of the game as a result, but Jones became extremely busy. A fantastic double save made in the death-throws of the game earned a pat of congratulations from the aggrieved striker.
Trojans will aim for a repeat of last season’s 3-0 cup final scoreline win when they renew rivalries with Fareham in next month’s Hampshire Women’s Cup semi-final at Stoneham Lane.
Trojans, having thrashed Winchester 8-1 in the last round, will be favourites to go through against Fareham, who play four divisions below them on the ladies’ hockey ladder.
Zoe Gittens (2), Cita Haines, Amy Sheehan, Imo Lea, Katie Hibbert, Rosie Lickorish and Jenny Gough scored against Winchester.
Fareham have got through to the April 14 semi-finals without raising a stick in anger – scheduled second round opponents Haslemere being unable to raise a side against Steve Lemon’s girls.
Zoe Stride, Louise Hopkins, and Ros Wellington (her first goal) hit the backboards as Southampton edged out New Forest 3-2 (Nicky Brooks 2) to claim their semi-final spot.
Andover beat City of Portsmouth 5-2 in the other quarter-final and will travel to the Sports Centre to play Southampton on April 14.
Havant are within one victory of lifting England Hockey’s Western Conference title after a 4-3 win over Birmingham University.
With two games to play, they remain four points ahead at the top and will be crowned champions of they beat neighbours Chichester in their penultimate match at Havant College next Sunday, 2pm.
Havant took an early lead through Mike Deller-Merricks in the Midlands, but two goals in quick succession by Cuthbert Shepherd and Chris Way gave them a 2-1 half-time lead.
Havant turned the match on its head with three goals in a blistering six minute second half spell, ignited by teenager Ethan Hoddle (41).
Federico Bentoni (pictured left by Neil Marshall) then converted two penalty corners in quick succession gave Havant a 4-3 lead before Shepherd set up a nervous finish with Birmingham’s third goal 13 minutes from time.
Fareham must win at Bristol University next Sunday to stand any chance of snatching a last gasp seventh place play-off slot. They are three points adrift of Bristol, but have a better goal difference than the university.
Fareham took the lead through George Davey at second placed Olton & West Warwicks, but after Ed Waters had equalised, were beaten 2-1 with Tom Mallett hammering a late home winner.
Andy Sparshott (pictured below by Neil Marshall) scored twice as Chichester beat Isca 4-0, with Alex Pendle and Matt Sewell also on target.
Winchester overcame the disappointment of missing an early penalty stroke and twice fell behind before coming back to beat South League Premier Division 1 rivals Oxford University 4-2 at Iffley Road.
Ben Hibberd saw his stroke saved by the Dark Blues goalkeeper and Todd Hutcheson missed a one-on-one before Benjamin Hemsi fired Oxford ahead.
Hutcheson’s timely deflection from a penalty corner levelled matters before a superb piece of individual skill at the top of the circle by Alex Copestake restored the student lead.
The pattern of the game continued with OU having good spells of possession but lacking a real cutting edge.
However, they left themselves exposed to the searing pace of Hutcheson (above left) and the creativity of skipper Kieran Malloy coming in off the right flank.
Attempts to penetrate the top of the Winchester circle were frequently intercepted by Micah Smithard and Jack Culmer setting up dangerous counter attacks.
One such attack lead to a penalty corner and a clinical move saw Kent Langridge equalise (2-2) with a deflection at the near post.
A period of ill discipline saw Oxford reduced to nine 9 men and the resultant swing in possession allowed Winchester to settle and conserve energy for the final 10 minutes, despite going down to 10 themselves.
Once back to full strength OU won a couple of penalty corners which were well defended by Winchester, who made the most of their counter-attacking opportunities and took a 3-2 lead through Hutcheson after good hold up play by Hibberd.
OU withdrew their goalkeeper in favour of a kicking back, but tactically lost their way and in the final minutes conceded a fourth goal to Hibberd.
Havant can take an emphatic step closer towards the Western Conference title if they beat fifth-placed Birmingham University in the Midlands on Sunday.
With three matches remaining, Havant enjoy a four-point advantage over their final game opponents Olton & West Warwicks (March 31) at the top – their position having been strengthened by Cardiff & Met losing 2-1 to Team Bath and the Birmingham students crashed 5-0 at Fareham.
Havant had to be satisfied with a 2-2 at Bristol University – the visitors playing without Matthew Boote, who fractured a bone in his foot in the warm up.
The West Country side changed round at half-time 1-0 up, ironically through a penalty corner by Havant old boy George Cairns.
Havant made a stunning start to the second period and, with Bristol down to ten men through a yellow card, struck twice inside 60 seconds.
Two minutes into the half, Miguel Rodrigues won Havant a penalty corner, and Federico Bertoni made no mistake with the equaliser.
Straight from the restart Havant took the lead, with man of the match Ethan Hoddle finishing a great move down the Havant right.
The game then settled down and neither side could trouble each other’s defence. The midfield started to open up and Havant created some further chances but could not increase their lead.
Then in the 57th minute a hopeful ball into the Havant circle, bounced kindly off a defender’s stick to Kincaid Ingram, whose rasping shot into the corner earned the students a 2-2 draw.
* Ollie Baxter scored twice for Chichester, who crashed 6-2 to Oxford Hawks.
Fareham scored four times in six devastating second half minutes to sink high riding England Hockey Western Conference visitors Birmingham University 5-0 – a result which helps Havant in their quest for the title.
Three of the goals came from penalty corners, two from the stick of former Great Britain Olympian Richard Mantell, who probably pots drag flicks in his sleep.
Niall Stott’s return after a calf injury was an enormous boost for Fareham and brought the best out of KES teen Will Penrose, who is developing into a an exciting prospect.
“He made a huge difference. His experience has been missed,” reflected head coach Ben Barnes. “Will has been improving all the time and moving Danny Rawlings back in to midfield has worked as well.”
Fareham turned round one-up courtesy of a 22nd minute goal by Martin Gough after Chris Davey’s initial shot had been beaten out.
Fareham’s match winning goal blitz came between the 53rd and 59th minutes – Mantell rifling consecutive penalty corners into the net before Jamie Rawlings added a fourth and Adam Bloomfield drilled home a fifth to give Fareham one of their best National League wins.
“I was really pleased with how we are creating more chances and are winning penalty corners,” Barnes added.
“With the threat we have we have to keep generating outcomes in the final third. Against Birmingham, it showed what we are capable of when we stay composed and work hard off the ball to support the ball carrier.”
Trojans twice allowed the lead to slip before nailing London Academicals 4-2 – a result that ensured they’ll play alongside arch rivals Winchester in a revamped South League Premier Division 1 next season.
But, with Guildford winning 3-1 at Blackheath and maintaining a five-point advantage at the top (albeit having played one more game), Trojans will need a helping hand from elsewhere if they are to snatch the title at the 11th hour.
The youthful Academicals put Trojans under sustained pressure in the early stages, but the momentum of the game was interrupted when Fareham-based panel umpire Shaun Gray pulled up lame with a hamstring tear, literally 24 hours before jetting off to the Alpine slopes on a well earned skiing break.
While Gray [left] was stretchered off in some discomfort, a panic stricken Ian Bassett came up trumps with a call to the Hampshire Hockey Helpline – Kevin Tate, who had just umpired the Trojans’ ladies 3-2 win over Gloucester City, taking over the whistle.
Normal service resumed and Trojans took the lead through a Dan Ferrier drag flick, his 11th of the season.
But just before half-time Trojans were penalised for a stick block and the teams changed round level at 1-1.
Trojans, tight at the back and with Steve Cole using his experience between the posts, began the second half strongly, regaining the lead through their South African crowd favourite Sinoxolo Mbekeni, aka Essex.
Once again Trojans allowed the advantage to slip, but there was no coming back once the evergreen Paul Hilton made it 3-2 and Mbekeni got a fourth while Academicals operated with a kicking back.
Trojans might have scored a fifth late on – teen ace Toby Dudson picking out Mbekeni with an inventive aerial pass, but the ball never made its way to the waiting Scott Summers.
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