SALISBURY Hockey Club Men's firsts clawed back a two-goal deficit to salvage a precious point with lowly Fareham thirds in Hampshire One.

The Lower Bemerton outfit started brightly and looked well organised for the first 10 minutes, but against the run of play the visitors took the lead after Mike Spice could only divert a penalty corner into the roof of the net.

Five minutes later, Fareham doubled their lead from open play.

Salisbury captain Andy Renshaw was sent to the sin bin for one too many words with the umpire as frustration grew.

But the ten-man hosts halved the deficit when Steve Booth’s penalty corner took a deflection off a Fareham stick and tumbled into the bottom corner.

After the resumption, Tom Morton and Martin Clark fired wide when both looked certain to score.

And some quality play from Morton and Clark sent Renshaw away down the right, having committed the Fareham keeper early the Salisbury captain couldn’t quite lift his effort over the keeper.

But the hosts' pressure was finally rewarded when Morton expertly deflected a cross into the top corner. Salisbury seemed to find an extra gear but a last-ditch interception stopped Morton playing in Renshaw while openings for Akram Ghauri and Jagjit Marwaha were quickly shut down as Fareham held out for a 2-2 draw.

“We weren’t good enough, they got two goals early and our reaction to that wasn’t quick enough,” rued Renshaw.

“We kept going and maybe could have won it, but that would have probably been more than we deserved from the game.

"If we played like we did for the final 15 minutes then I’m sure we’d have got all three points."

Salisbury dropped one place to third in the standings.