It rained goals in South Birmingham, where table topping Fareham emerged 9-5 winners from a bizarre 14-goal West Conference thriller against previously unbeaten Harborne.
A goal down inside two minutes, Fareham equalised before scoring three times in seven minutes to lead 4-1 before Harborne hit back with three strikes of their own to make it 4-4.
A successful Shane Vincent penalty stroke sparked another three Fareham goal frenzy to make it 7-4, but Harborne’s Peter Jackson converted his fourth short corner before the visitors tied it up with two more goals in the last five minutes.
“The only downside to it all was that, due to Covid ground regulations, no spectators were allowed to watch a humdinger of a match,” beamed jubilant Fareham manager Malcolm Davies.
It took Fareham only two minutes to realise the danger Jackson would create from Harborne’s set pieces – but Alex Boxall soon levelled things up.
A Chris Davey brace and a fourth goal by Vincent sent Fareham into a 4-1 lead, which Stefan Sekula trimmed before half-time.
Nine minutes into the third quarter Jackson had completed a hat-trick of penalty corner conversions as stand-in Fareham goalie Josh Dawson found himself in the firing line. That made it 4-all.
Fareham dusted themselves down and within five minutes had restored their lead courtesy of a Vincent penalty flick.
Tom Larcombe and Davey, with his hat-trick goal, stretched Fareham’s lead to 7-4 – but Harborne refused to lie down and when Fareham conceded another short corner, Jackson duly obliged. 7-5.
Fareham, who host Plymouth Marjon at Henry Cort on Saturday (1.30), finally wrapped it up with two short corners of their own in the last five minutes, Rob Wilson and Niall Stott converting.
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