Ben Barnes cut a frustrated figure on the touchline as Fareham bungled a great chance of beating Isca, having dominated the match, led twice, hit the goal frame four times and allowed their Exeter hosts to nick the points with two second half goals in quick succession.
They trailed early on, but led 2-1 and 3-2 before defensive lapses gifted the West Country side a 4-3 victory.
“It was very disappointing,” Barnes said. “We dominated the game. We hit the post four times, but went to sleep for two of Isca’s goals and let speculative long balls in to our circle which were deflected in at the back post.”
Fareham fell behind to a seventh minute Tom Brooks goal, but two goals in three minutes midway through the first period by George Davey and Jamie Rawlings, from a penalty corner, gave them a 2-1 lead.
Dave King levelled for Isca before half-time, but alongside repeatedly rattling the woodwork, Fareham were denied by a succession of fine saves by Ed Jones and wasted other chances.
“We had two golden chances and, in my opinion, should have had a stonewall penalty, only to have been awarded a short corner when Alex Boxall was fouled badly in the process of shooting,” Barnes lamented.
Fareham did regain the lead through Martin Gough (51), but were undone by two goals in quick succession by Tom Brooks, Isca’s hat-trick hero.
“We went to sleep,” Barnes moaned.
“Had we been sharper we would have won with seven goals on the board, instead of which we lost. All very disappointing as we dominated the game.”
Fareham left out combative midfielder Chris Davey, whose indiscipline (and two yellow cards) cost them dear in the previous 4-2 defeat by Exeter University.
Davey will also miss Saturday’s rearranged home match with Cardiff Met, but be back for Sunday’s snow threatened derby at Havant, who surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at lowly Cheltenham.
Matt Cox and Michael Dellor-Merricks gave Havant a 2-0 lead, which Cheltenham bettered in the second half.
Fareham seconds moved into fifth spot in Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 1 with a 5-2 win over visiting Croydon & Old Whitgiftians, with George Davey (2), Christian McKenna (2) and Kieran Page on target.
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