It was dubbed the ‘El Creekio’ and in some, unfamiliar ways, it matched up to its somewhat more prestigious Spanish counterpart. This was no top-of-the-table clash, whichever way you twisted either side’s recent form, and the weather was certainly no comparison to what you’d find in Madrid or Barcelona.
But, in entertainment value at the very least, this local, Creekside derby had a lot to offer. Seven goals, some heated tackles and some worryingly feeble defending.
Though the scoreline would suggest so, Fareham weren’t hugely domineering in their display. They threaded through some decent passes and had control of the midfield but, ultimately, some naive Portchester defending made way for an emphatic result.
Fareham began the half shooting towards the netted end of the Wicor Recreation Ground, a cosy, if not elaborate non-league setting, and found themselves on the front foot immediately.
Matt Burt, the towering Fareham central midfielder, connected with a well placed corner in the opening minutes but saw his effort sail over the bar. A string of crosses and set pieces followed but nothing ended up troubling the Portchester goalkeeper.
The early pressure, then, wasn’t telling and the home side soon came into the game. But, despite making their presence felt, Portchester were soon behind. Bryn McKie who, up to this point, had looked off the pace, curled an effort in from the edge of the area. It really should have been saved but, regardless, the away support – who were particularly vociferous – had the early bragging rights.
It wasn’t long before Kieron Lewis added the second with a beautifully timed volley. A minor scramble in the area allowed the ball to sit up perfectly for the defender and he struck the ball home without hesitance. It all seemed over already.
Therefore, it was no surprise when, two minutes later, Fareham had a three goal advantage. Some brilliant work on the right wing from a lively Gary Austin resulted in a tempting ball into the box. So tempting, in fact, that Dale Clarke turned the ball into his own net.
Moments before half time, though, the home side won themselves a lifeline after Blu Boam knocked home from a free-kick.
With their tales up, you would’ve thought Portchester would come out in search for another goal but, in truth, they were only soaking up more Fareham pressure. There were a myriad of through balls, all of which the home defence seemingly couldn’t cope with, and only some dismal finishing was keeping the scoreline at 3-1.
Not that Portchester weren’t creating chances. Two goalmouth scrambles were eventually cleared – one from the line and one off of the post – as Portchester showed that, for all their dismal defending, they were an offensive threat.
But Fareham were, ultimately, showing the home side how it was done and it wasn’t ong before a fourth was added. Mig Dark drove a shot at goal and Tom Winzar, who had come off the bench, reacted quickly to slip the ball through the ‘keeper’s legs.
Portchester showed some style with their second, though, having hit Fareham on a tremendous counter attack. The right wing was seemingly their territory, as captain, George Way, steamed up the pitch. Substitute Jay Ripner finished the move well but it was Fareham who ended up leaving an indelible mark on the match.
After another hefty Portchester challenge, McKie lined up a free kick from outside the area and nestled it perfectly into the top left corner.
5-2 to Fareham, and another feisty Creekside derby to go before the season ends.