This was one of those rare sporting moments when both sides were happy with the result.
City of Peterborough beat Fareham 1-0 in their play-off match for a place in the new Division One of the National League next season at Bretton Gate (April 13), but it’s their victims who are already assured of promotion!
Two out of three contesting teams go up and as Fareham beat Preston 3-1 in their opening play-off game there is no result when City travel to Lancashire later this month that can deny them one of the two avilable promotion places.
A draw or even a one-goal defeat will do City in Preston on April 28. A defeat by two goals or more would consign them to another season in the National East Conference,
It was a close fought and at times nail-biting encounter in front of a crowd swollen by spectators competing in the annual Roger Brummitt mixed hockey tournament. .
City possibly looked the most likely scorers for much of the game and took the lead in the 18th minute through a Joe Finding short corner conversion.
Fareham were a constant danger however, with much of the attacks coming off the long raking passes from former GB international Richard Mantell.
Although City had many more penetrations into the Fareham area, outcomes were not what they could have been. The eye catching skills of man-of-the-match Ben Read and Brendan Andrews failed to lead to a further goal.
Fareham had about half a dozen short corners, where Mantell was always a threat, but a combination of good defence, and poor accuracy meant Peterborough retained their single goal advantage to the end, though a late period of Fareham pressure meant that the final whistle was greeted with cheers of relief from the voiciferous crowd.