Fareham’s four-match winning West Conference start hit the buffers with a 2-1 defeat by Plymouth Marjon – the defeat bowling them off top spot in the process.
Chasing the game after two successful Plymouth first half penalty corner conversions, Fareham were unable to master Marjon’s deep press and only had a late Shane Vincent goal as a token consolation.
Fareham’s first defeat has enabled Bristol University to leapfrog to the front – the west country students drawing 1-1 with Harborne, whom George Harris’s side had beaten 9-4 a week earlier.
Fareham struggled to master Plymouth’s game plan from the off and directly Jon Tew gave the visitors a sixth minute lead they were up against it.
Plymouth doubled their lead five minutes before half-time with a Rory Close short corner, leaving Fareham with then proverbial mountain to climb.
It wasn’t until the final quarter that Fareham got things together. Pushing towards the clubhouse goal, they pinned Plymouth back but only Shane Vincent, with a penalty corner four minutes from time, managed to achieve a breakthrough.
Fareham second team’s five matches in Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 1 have produced an amazing 37 goals – then of them going in their own net (and past George Harris) at Croydon a week earlier.
But Fareham bounced back from that 10-0 mauling in Surrey with a 5-3 win over Old Cranleighians, George Davey celebrating his return from suspension with one of the goals.
Chris Tagg converted two penalty strokes to join Nick Knight and Zac Way on the scoresheet.
Elsewhere, Andy Pett scored both the goals as Basingstoke beat Barnes 2-1, while goal hungry Rowledge cricketer Ian Metcalfe grabbed his fifth of the season as Aldershot & Farnham trimmed promotion rivals Oxted 3-1. Jon Pickett scored twice as Havant II went down 3-2 at Reigate Priory.
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