Fareham came from behind on four separate occasions before salvaging a 4-4 draw with England Hockey League West Conference hosts Olton & West Warwicks – Luke Cornish grabbing a dramatic last gasp equaliser.
“It really was a terrific game, landed with goals and rich in entertainment,” reflected Fareham manager Nigel Cook.
“We deserved a draw, no question about that, but the way we continually had to play catch up underlined the character we have in the side.”
Fareham fell behind to an eighth minute field goal by Tom Mallett, but a Jamie Rawlings penalty corner conversion sent them in level 1-1 at half-time.
Within six minutes of the restart Martin Ebbage restored Olton’s lead with another field goal.
Three goals then followed in four minutes – Cook purring at two sublime finishes by Martin Gough either side of Mallett’s third for Olton.
First he controlled an aerial ball from Rawlings (which caught the South Midlanders’ napping) and reverse-sticked it past goalkeeper Alex Cook.
Then, a minute after Olton had gone 3-2 up, Gough equalised with another superbly taken goal.
“They were quality strikes,” Cook said of the former Chichester and Havant hit-man.
It looked as though Gough’s predatory skills might go unrewarded when Joe Paul beat George Harris with a penalty flick two minutes from the end.
But Fareham, having seen Chris Davey fluff a great chance, got their just deserts in the final play when Cornish grabbed a dramatic equaliser.
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