On a sunny Sunday at fortress BRN, Hawks welcomed struggling National League West side Fareham in the last 16 of the cup. Hawks came into the game after a bitterly disappointing defeat to Spencer the previous day and were looking for an instant response.
The game started at a high tempo from both sides, with Fareham edging the first 15 minutes and were moving the ball around well and looking dangerous from the midfield. Hawks got a foothold in the game, and took the lead when Fareham failed to deal with a long Jack Biggs aerial. Alex Williams pounced and drove into the D, and the ball ended up in the bottom corner after a touch from the defender. Fareham hit back quickly though with a dragflick through keeper Chris Price's legs. Hawks responded brilliantly and were on the front foot for the rest of the half, and regained the lead after excellent work from Matt Wood. HT came with a 2-1 lead.
The second half continued a similar pattern with Hawks on the front foot getting the better of the national league side. They scored at regular intervals, with a well placed strike (slice??) from Thom Sobey and a rocket backhand from Ted Bennett into the roof on the net after a mistake from the Fareham defence. Hawks then went 5-1 up after an unstoppable Biggs dragflick into the bottom right corner.
Fareham then came at Hawks in the last 10 minutes, with Hawks defending well but under the cosh. They scored a well worked goal to make it 5-2, and then after the final whistle had already blown, they scored another consolation goal from a short corner for a full-time score of 5-3.
A brilliant performance from everyone in the side, with mentions to Will Murch on his return to the side and Dan Rhodes and Thom Sobey impressing in Midfield. A convincing win in front of a packed crowd was the perfect tonic for Hawks, and they look forward to the last 8 of the National Cup in the new year!