It has been a long wait for a ladies 1s league fixture between Fareham and Havant and today's feisty encounter did not disappoint with Fareham deservedly running out 3-1 winners at Henry Cort. Both sides had chances in the early stages but it was Fareham who opened the scoring in the 15th minute from a move that began with good work down the right wing from Vicky Field. The ball was played across to the far post where Rachael Millington-Clark scored with a composed finish. Seven minutes later Heather Batten robbed a Havant defender on the edge of the 'D' before slipping the ball past the keeper to double the Fareham lead.
Midway through the first half Fareham looked to have scored a third but, after a discussion, Rachael's shot from a penalty corner was ruled out for being fractionally too high. The first half wasn't by any means one-sided and Havant's pace was always a threat. They would have pulled a goal back from a well struck shot but for Ange Cryne's superb full length dive deflecting the ball over the bar.
Fareham's 2-0 half-time lead was deserved but there was still plenty of work to be done to finish the job. The 2nd half became messy with regular stoppages for cards on both sides although it never felt like a game that needed so many cards. During this spell Poppy Herbert, Havant's most dangerous player, halved the deficit with a good solo effort in the 46th minute. Despite the visitors increased efforts Fareham held firm and as the game entered the final stages we regained control. With five minutes remaining the points were secured with a third Fareham goal from a penalty corner. Laura Pendleton's deflection of Heather's shot gave the keeper no chance.
The victory keeps Fareham top of the table after two matches ahead of Southampton and Old Georgians on goal difference. Next week we travel to Haslemere aiming to make amends for last season's narrow defeat.