Rawlings at the double as Fareham stun Guildford in England Hockey NOW: Pensions Western Conference (From Daily Echo)
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Rawlings at the double as Fareham stun Guildford in England Hockey NOW: Pensions Western Conference
6:00am Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Sport
Winchester-raised Danny Rawlings scored twice as Fareham rocked Guildford with four second-half goals in 15 minutes to secure a 5-1 England Hockey NOW: Pensions Western Conference victory over the Surrey club.
The 17-year-old midfielder bagged Fareham’s second and fourth goals as his side celebrated a first-ever win over Guildford.
The result sets things up nicely for the upcoming Saturday tea-time derby showdown with Havant at Henry Cort Community College, 5pm.
Fareham, held 4-4 by Indian Gymkhana in their opening match, have now scored nine times in their first two games and are the top Western Conference scorers.
“It was a much improved performance from the Gymkhana game,” reflected Fareham coach Ben Barnes.
“We used the ball better and didn’t turn it over as much as last week. We were much more secure on the ball.”
The absence of former Great Britain Olympic goalkeeper Simon Mason (hamstring) certainly helped Fareham’s cause, though it was George Harris who had to make two fine early saves to deny home pair James Ferguson and Ronnie Bowerman.
But, after a patient start, Fareham began to call the tune and, after Ben Hibberd and Shaun Baker had gone close, the visitors went ahead.
The first penalty corner of the game – awarded for a foot infringement – culminated in South Africa Under-21 captain Robin Jones giving Fareham the lead from a partially saved drag flick.
Fareham’s lead was short lived.
Four minutes later Guildford’s opening set piece led to Mike Rippon deflecting home Will Blockley’s penalty corner.
But Fareham ended an evenly contested first half on a positive note, with Australian Paul Nicholls and Hibberd testing deputy goalkeeper Ed Burton-Browne.
Two Fareham goals in quick succession early in the second half settled an entertaining game.
Rawlings set up and scored the second – injecting a left-side penalty corner and being on the near post when James Seager’s powerful drag flick was charged down.
Fareham extended their lead four minutes later with the increasingly influential Rob Wilson releasing Rawlings to pick up the free-running Boxall, who rifled home a reverse stick shot from an acute angle.
Fareham might have been content to protect their 3-1 lead when Jones became the third player of the match to be yellow carded. But, far from going into defensive mode, Fareham scored twice more inside five minutes.
Already involved in two goals, Rawlings got Fareham’s fourth with a fine individual effort which flew in off a defender’s stick.
Fareham’s fifth – on the hour – was created by the tireless Seager and Boxall, who set up benchman Chris Davey to make it 5-1.
Team coach Ben Barnes was pleased with the result but insisted there was more to come.
“We increased our intensity after the break and were able to stretch the game because of the strength in depth we are building in the squad.
“I was pleased that in the second period we eliminated some of the sloppy errors we made in the first half and hit them with more pace and the use of the aerial pass.”
He had a special word of praise for the teenage Rawlings.
“Danny earned his place in the side and played a lead role in our victory,” Barnes said.
“He’s very mature for a 17-year-old. He’s strong on the ball, calm and when he uses the ball things happen.”
Havant warmed up for the Fareham match with a 5-2 defeat of Cheltenham.
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