Teenager Alex Pendle hit a first half hat-trick – only to finish on the losing Chichester side as Fareham staged an astonishing comeback to force a 3-3 draw and an eventual penalty shoot-out victory in the England Hockey Cup second round.
Chichester looked to be cruising to victory after the 16-year old hit-man scored twice in the opening ten minutes and then converted a penalty corner to make it 3-0.
But lifted by a James Seager goal just before the half-time break, Fareham swarmed forward and dominated the second half, Jamie Rawlings cutting it back to 3-2 from a short corner and then equalising from a penalty flick.
Goalkeeper Macjec Pacanowski pulled off several fine saves as Fareham threatened to win the tie in normal time, but the visitors prevailed in the penalty shoot out, winning 4-2.
Chichester old boy Martin Gough converted Fareham’s fourth, tie-clinching penalty.
Chichester remain second from bottom in England Hockey’s Eastern Conference after a goalless draw with Old Loughtonians.
The team who finish second from bottom in the conference go into an end-of-season play-off. Fareham were in it last year and Chichester have survived it before as well, so it is sure to an interesting run-in.
Chichester have successive away league games now – they go to Southgate on Sunday and West Herts a week later.
Burgess Hill 2nds 4 Chichester Ladies 2nds 4
It’s always tough against Burgess hill – and that’s how the match panned out.
With no subs everyone in the Chichester team knew they had to work consistently and for each other if they were going to get anything out of this game.
The play was end to end and Chi were not performing as well as they have done over the past three matches, but they are unbeaten since Christmas.
Burgess Hill were the first to strike as Chi floundered at the back although Claire Young in goal was in fine form. The visitors struck again and Chi looked daunted by their uphill task.
The game changed when a pass from Tracy Austin found Sarah Jessop, who drifted off her marker into space and from the edge of the circle slammed the ball into the net.
Chichester’s tails were up at this point and Rachael Trent, with excellent stick skills, reverse-passed the ball past the Hill keeper.
Chichester still needed to put some passes together but Hill got their third, and a fourth soon followed.
Chi heads were down and they were grateful for the half-time whistle.
After a good talking-to, the home side got their act together and Zenia Trueman on the right took the game to Burgess Hill backed up by Cheryl Parrott at the back.
The second goal came with positive attacking play and Trent got her second to make it 4-3.
Determination was the name of the game as time seemed to be slipping by. But if you keep up the positivity something will happen and happen it did as Jessop, at the death, got the equaliser to secure a fair result.
Chi ladies 2nds: Young, Oliver-Catt, Austin, Parrott, JBaxter, Jessop, Hurd, Greenway, Trent, Stemp, Trueman.