Fareham scored four times in the last 11 minutes to beat Cardiff University 6-1 – the result a perfect lift-off for new coach George Harris and his young charges following last season’s relegation to the Western Conference.
The outcome of Fareham’s visit to the Welsh capital hung in the balance on the hour mark as the students tried unsuccessfully to cancel out a 2-1 deficit.
But the wind was taken out of their sails by Chris Davey’s third for Fareham, who went on to score three more times in the last five minutes to run out comfortable winners.
Fareham, who won only twice before being relegated from National South last term, found themselves trailing to a sixth minute penalty stroke conversion by KES raised Will Penrose, who spent the last two seasons at Henry Cort and is now studying biology at Cardiff University.
Davey conceded the penalty, blocking a university strike on the line.
It took Fareham a while to emerge from a lethargic start it needed a verbal 'rocket' from Harris at quarter-time to fire them into action.
The coach got the response he was looking for as Portsmouth Grammar School’s Alex Beckett, one of numerous teenagers in the squad, equalized for Fareham in the 23rd minute from a move initiated by Phil Larcombe and shortly before half-time Niall Stott celebrated his comeback from a broken leg by converting a short corner to give the visitors a 2-1 half-time lead.
Fareham weathered a near half-hour Cardiff University spell of pressure before Davey grabbed a crucial third goal, with Larcombe again the provider.
Finishing strongly and emerging the fitter side, Fareham turned the screw and scored three more goals before the final whistle – Beckett getting his second either side of an Alex Boxall brace.
Beckett might well have christened his debut with a hat-trick but unselfishly set up Fareham's sixth for Boxall.
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