Sholing’s bid to regain Sydenhams League top spot was put on hold when Fareham Town held them 1-1 in a lively end-to-end tussle at Cams Alders last night.
It leaves them still two points adrift of Alresford Town, with four matches in hand and seven games still to play.
A draw was a fair result and, on reflection a satisfactory one for Sholing, who played the last ten minutes with ten men after Michael Carter had been sent off for a second bookable offence.
Fareham, beaten 6-0 at the Silverlake Arena last autumn, gave the FA Vase finalists a real run for their money in a game in which chances were at a relative premium.
Remarkably, it was Sholing’s NINTH successive away match and manager Dave Diaper once again rotated his squad, playing Tyronne Bowers at right back, linking Carter and the impressive Dan Miller in central defence, and leaving Lee Bright, Lee Wort and Barry Mason on the bench.
Sholing got their noses in front midway through the first half when Dan Cox struck a low left-foot shot past Luke Douglas from the edge of the box.
Fareham, buoyant after winning six of their previous eight matches, put Sholing under pressure at the start of the second half, but despite the prompting of the industrious Ash Tattersall, got very few, if any, shots on Matt Brown’s goal.
It looked as though Sholing might have done enough but with 20 minutes left Lee Tigwell curled a low free kick round the visitors’ defensive wall for a deserved Fareham equaliser.
Ten minutes later, Carter picked up his second caution for a foul on Tattersall, leaving Sholing a man short for the closing stages.
But they held out without any alarm leaving honours shared at the end of a well contested match.