by Mike Vimpany

A goal down in the opening minutes and two adrift early in the second half, Southampton ladies hit back in style to force a creditable 2-2 draw against South Women’s League Division 3B rivals Eastbourne at the Sports Centre.

Prospects appeared anything but bright for Southampton when a break from a short corner led to Eastbourne doubling their early lead.

But Southampton, always optimistic, found a way back into the game when Lou Hopkins saw her efforts broken down in front of goal and Sue Merry put away the resulting penalty flick.

Merry laid on Southampton’s equalising goal – the Eastbourne keeper only parrying her shot, but conveniently into the path of Nat Romain, who finished off a fine team move and give the city girls a share of the spoils.

Fareham are picking up nicely after a lean start – their 3-2 win over Horsham being their third victory in a row.

Under heavy pressure early on, Fareham were indebted to Hampshire women’s cricket starlet Sian Edwards for an excellent goal-line save.

Two goals inside eight first half-minutes – the first from Vicky Field and the second from Laura Ryan – gave Fareham a 2-0 advantage Horsham’s Phillipa Harris trimmed back just before the break.

Fareham restored their two-goal advantage when Ryan laid on a third for Sophie Raymond, but when Alicia Renfrey scored a second for Horsham five minutes from time, a tense finale ensued. Fareham held on.