Fareham turned to a trio of talented teenagers to score the goals which secured a 3-1 West Conference win over Isca at Exeter University.
Alex Beckett, Phil Larcombe and Fergus Jackson took the credits for securing Fareham’s third successive win, one which keeps them top of the log on goal difference from Bristol University and Harborne, who they visit on Sunday.
But Fareham had to play 20 minutes – almost one third of the match – with ten men after former Team Bath Buccaneers defender Steve Daxter was twice sin-binned and two other players picked up green cards.
Fareham manager Malc Davies explained: “The cards played a major tactical part, with the double yellow for Daxter preventing us from getting any authority and pushing us on to the back foot.”
Portsmouth Grammar School’s Alex Beckett continued his early season goal scoring form by giving Fareham a sixth minute lead – it was his fifth goal in three starts - but the visitors needed a series of fine saves from Rory Kemp – and some off-target Isca finishing - to keep their noses in front.
Daxter picked up his first yellow card in the 20th minute and was briefly joined in the ‘bin’ by Dylan Coleman leaving Fareham short of manpower in the period leading up to half-time.
Phil Larcombe redeemed himself from an early green card by doubling Fareham’s lead early in the third quarter, but the visitors found themselves down to ten men again when Daxter returned to the cooler, this time for a back-stick tackle.
Fareham needed that two-goal cushion when Isca’s Tom Brooks converted a penalty corner on the hour-mark, but with Daxter back and a full compliment of players on the pitch they managed to close the game out.
Fergus Jackson settled affairs with a third goal from the top of the D after a penalty corner breakdown and secured a third straight win for Fareham.
Kieran Page notched a hat-trick as Fareham seconds flattened Richmond II 8-3 to move off the South League Hampshire/Surrey Regional League basement. Alex Ellison and Zac Way scored two each, with Paul Metcalf completing the scoring.
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