Romsey Men’s 1st XI 2 – 3 Wimborne Men’s 1st XI

Romsey fell to their first defeat of the season on the back of a below par performance away to a determined Wimborne side. Continuing the trend of recent games, Romsey were guilty of making a slow start to the tie, struggling to retain possession in the face of hard-pressing opposition. The Dorset side played on the counterattack throughout the game and had joy early on when a simple big hit through the middle found a forward completely unmarked on the top of the area, who remained composed in his one-on-one with the goalkeeper and opened the scoring.

Wimborne were making all the clear cut chances at this stage and hit the crossbar with a spectacular reverse stick effort before adding a second goal from a penalty corner. The home side were also benefiting from some lenient umpiring as a series of seemingly dangerous sliding tackles were allowed to go unpunished.

Romsey hit back almost immediately with a superb solo effort from Lewis Birch, who received the ball with his back to goal and feinted to shoot on his reverse stick before checking back to his strong side and beating the goalkeeper at his near post with a fierce shot from the top of the ‘D’. Romsey were indebted to Lozz Scott in goal who kept them in touch with a brilliant stick save as a shot appeared to be heading into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Romsey were a better side after half-time, passing the ball more fluently and forcing the play into their opponents’ half. A short corner was awarded when a goalbound deflection from a Romsey stick was stopped by a Wimborne body and the visitors executed their routine perfectly as Birch deflected in Jack Forrest-Charde’s assist. Romsey came close to taking the lead when a further penalty corner appeared to be stopped on the line by a defensive foot, but the umpire disagreed and no penalty flick was awarded.

Instead it was Wimborne who went ahead as yet again they were the first to react when an initial effort was saved by Scott in goal. The home side were finally penalised for their rash tackling late on when a forward scythed down a Romsey player with yet another slide from behind. Presented with a man advantage for the final five minutes Romsey pressed hard and won a short corner but were unable to make it count

The result sees the chasing pack close the gap in a tightly bunched top half of the Hants. Division 1 table, through Romsey remain top on goal difference. With key games against the current second and third placed teams over the next three weeks, Romsey will know they need much improved performances to put their promotion challenge back on track, starting with an away fixture versus Southampton University 1s this Saturday.

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