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Saturday 7th July 2012 ko 3.00pm

Pre-season Friendly

FAREHAM TOWN 10 (Cotton 17 Shrimpton 28 Boud 33 Tambling 35 Lindsey 44 Wilson 52 58 Roden 53 Robinson 68 Thompson 69)


Att 46 (h/c)

Played at University of Southampton Playing Fields, Wide Lane, Eastleigh

Entry FREE

Programme £1

With rain coming down in torrents flooding the A34 on the way down, I suspect all involved were glad of a 3G pitch. Mind you, Bishops Waltham  postponed a reserve friendly that morning, as the opposition didn’t want to play in the rain! The complex, is just about in Eastleigh, and is opposite Southampton Airport Parkway railway station.

There was also the vexed question of who was the “home” team. This is neither side’s home ground, but Bishops Waltham is a lot closer, but the programme was produced by Fareham secretary Paul “Splodge” Proctor. He told me that Bishops had asked for the game, and the £80 cost of the pitch was being split between the two clubs. Splodge was hoping to recoup Fareham’s half of the money through programme sales. He sold 19, so I bought a couple more. The real winners here were the university who did well out of charging student prices for beer to thirsty hoppers.

With the rain still bucketing down, the vast majority of both spectators and substitutes sought refuge on the terrace bar’s balcony. It afforded a decent view, albeit with the tall fence partially obscuring the near side. If the rain had abated, more people would have taken advantage of the hard standing on the far side of the pitch. As it was, I quickly took my pictures, found Splodge for the substitutes’ names and sought refuge back at the balcony.

If Waltham had gone through with the reserve game is the morning, I hate to imagine the thrashing they’ve have received. As it was they went into this game, with only 4 substitutes, no recognised goalkeeper, and only 4 members of last season’s squad. Fareham treated the game as passing practice, and as a means of blowing away close-season cobwebs. Sporting barely touched the ball for the duration of the game, and even suffered the indignity of a non-goal that was, keeper James Webb diving over Graham Lindsey’s non-shot for the fifth goal.

Despite Fareham putting out virtually a new side for the second half, the goals continued to be scored with metronomic efficiency, and the fact that the Creeksiders played exhibition football as soon as the 10th goal had been scored saved the Hampshire League outfit further humiliation. In theory there’s only 2 divisions between the two sides, the reality looked like a good deal more.