Ball games are often decided by small margins and in Fareham’s case it was a few centimetres that denied them a precious National League Western Conference victory over Isca.

Fareham thought they had won 2-1 when James Seager converted a late penalty corner against the West Country visitors.

“But the umpire judged our last penalty corner to have not travelled out of the circle before JJ fired it in,” explained Fareham head coach Ben Barnes.

The disallowed goal meant that Fareham had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the Henry Cort chill.

A win would have taken them out of the bottom two and above Isca. As it stands, they remain second from bottom, one point above University of Bristol, with a better goal difference.

It was ironic that Fareham should convert their seventh and last short corner, because up until then their routines bordered on being abysmal.

“Our penalty corners have been strong in training, but misfired against Isca,” Barnes said. “It was a frustrating day when you look at the result as we did more than enough to win.”

Fareham found themselves chasing the game directly New Milton raised teenager Tim Nurse fired Isca into a fifth minute lead.

Nurse, schooled under Simon Ridley’s watchful eye at Ballard Court, played his junior hockey at Bournemouth and remains in the England Futures programme.

Still behind at the break, Fareham pressed forward in the second half, but wasted several chances before Seager equalised from a 60th minute penalty stroke.

  • l Teenager Will Raymond struck as Fareham 2nds eased their Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 1 relegation worries with a 1-0 win over Barnes.