Head coach Ben Barnes has slammed England Hockey administrators for the rescheduling of the South League fixture list that sent Fareham to Bath and Sevenoaks on consecutive days – over 275 miles spent on the motorways inside 24 hours.
To compound the agony, Fareham lost 5-1 to Team Bath and then 7-1 at Sevenoaks – results which have heightened the likelihood of them being relegated at the end of the season.
Even though there are still four weekends of the season left, Fareham’s Storm Caira postponed fixture at Bath University (February 9) was hurriedly rearranged just 24 hours before their scheduled visit to Sevenoaks.
Barnes [above] described it as “a criminal fixture list that did us no favours. England Hockey should be ashamed of themselves.
“It was a tough weekend, not only for the players, but also the umpires and technical officials, with everyone expected to drop everything. It needs a rethink.”
Fareham have another double facing them this weekend with Canterbury (Saturday) and Southgate (Sunday) due to visit Henry Cort for 1.30pm push backs.
Fareham found themselves two-down inside ten minute at Bath, but cut the students’ lead to 3-1 when Chris Davey scored for the visitors.
But two Bath goals inside 90 seconds ended any prospect Fareham had of getting back into the game, Scott Rawlings scoring his side’s 5-1 as his elder brothers Danny and James looked helplessly on.
Play-off chasing Sevenoaks put six goals past Fareham without reply back in the autumn and looked set for a potential massacre when they led 5-0 at half-time before running out 7-1 winners. Davey again scored Fareham’s consolation goal.
“Sevenoaks were playing their only game of the weekend, so were obviously much fresher. Playing back to back games after long journeys took its toll on us. They were sharper and we looked tired,” Barnes added.
“Both Bath and Sevenoaks finished far better than us. We struggled to contain penalty corners both days and not score our own.”
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