Two slick second half Birmingham University short corner conversions and a late penalty stroke sent Fareham tumbling to a 3-2 West Conference defeat in the Midlands.
A goal up in eight minutes through Martin Gough, pictured left, Fareham played well and led for over half-an-hour – only to be sunk by three set-pieces.
Head coach Ben Barnes certainly thought Fareham were worth a point.
“"It was a very even game where I felt we deserved to be 2-0 up at half time" he said.
"But in the second half, Birmingham were ruthless at penalty corners and that was the difference between the two teams in the end"
"They effectively scored three goals from four penalty corners) and although we played some good hockey, it wasn't enough."
Gough’s predatory instincts saw Fareham take an eighth minute lead – an advantage they might well have extended but for some fine saves by student goalkeeper Sam Lloyd, one of which included keeping out an Alex Boxall shot with his helmet.
Fareham held the lead until six minutes into the second period when Scott Wall whistled the first of two stinging drag flicks past George Harris.
The second came ten minutes later and gave the university a 2-1 lead.
Birmingham tied it up with a 68th minute penalty stroke by Jack Clee – a goal-bound shot having hit Tom Seebold on the line – while Gough got his second as Fareham launched a valiant but unsuccessful bid to snatch a point.
It was Fareham’s fourth defeat in five matches – a sequence they will want to end before the mid-season break begins after Sunday’s home match with Olton & West Warwicks.
Havant gave leaders Exeter University a real scare, twice levelling before conceding a 3-2 defeat in the West Country.
Matt Cox and Maciej Janiszewski scored for Fareham, with Exeter’s winner coming midway through the second half.
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