Romsey Mens 2nd XI 5 – 2 Bournemouth 5th XI

Romsey Mens 2nd XI travelled down to Dorset with the lead of Snows Hampshire Group Div 7 at stake. Romsey stood top by virtue of superior goal difference ahead of Bournemouth, with third placed Gillingham hot on the heels of both sides just two points behind

In spite of the shocking chapel gate pitch, both sides were able to construct some decent hockey, and the early passages were marked by sustained Romsey pressure, relieved by the occasional lighting fast counter attack from the home side, requiring keeper Callum Darch to make two outstanding saves.

Romsey were able to make their early pressure tell when the ever lively Josh Bishop clinically converted a one on one with the home keeper to put Romsey 1-0 ahead.

Strike partner Colin Harwood doubled the visitors’ advantage shortly afterwards, sneaking a shot from the most acute of angles in at the far post.JAE3

Romsey had had to abandon their usual expansive style since the truly awful surface rendered these tactics too risky, so instead were exchanging short passes and relying on the pace of Bishop and Greig Stewart in the midfield and Jack Murray on the flank to feed forwards Harwood and Carl Hendy close to the D.

The visitors’ constant pressure brought a third before half time when man of the match Bishop grabbed his second reacting quickest to jab home the loose ball after a melee developed in the Bournemouth goal mouth.

The home side cam back strongly after the break,constructing a neat move through the middle which caught Romsey napping, and brought the score back to 3-1. The respite was short lived as, almost immediately Romsey forced a penalty corner, from which veteran Jim East saw his goal bound drag flick deflected horribly in at the opposite post with the home keeper stranded.

Bournemouth were able to force a late consolation, although Romsey struck back at once when Jack Murray crossed for Harwood to tap in.

Romsey now stand alone at the top, Gillingham rising to second courtesy of their victory over Wimborne Wayfarers. A win away to Basingstoke would take Romsey considerably closer to their fourth promotion in their five year history.

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