Romsey Men’s 1st XI 1 – 3 Sunbury & Walton Hawks Men’s 1st XI

Romsey were deservedly defeated in Surrey as their lightning quick start fizzled out into a disappointingly lacklustre overall performance. Romsey were dominant in the early stages, pushing the Hawks deep into their own half as the home side were initially uncomfortable against the high press. The visitors had immediate reward for this positivity, winning a penalty corner which Joe Welch stepped up to dragflick past the goalkeeper’s left hand.

After the first ten minutes the home side settled and began to find holes in the press with their direct style of play, whilst the visitors struggled for fluency on the bouncy pitch. Needlessly rushed passes went astray causing numerous promising positions to be squandered, whilst Sunbury appeared the side with greater desire and won more than their share of contestable balls simply by stepping towards the ball.

Sunbury earned several penalty corners and only sharp work from captain Dave Miles prevented an equaliser, twice clearing the ball from the goalline. The home side were looking to hit into the area at almost every opportunity and Romsey did a poor job of protecting the edge of the ‘D’, eventually being punished for this when a deflected cross was gathered near the top of the area by a striker, who fired a shot on the turn and found the bottom corner.

The halftime whistle arrived with the scoreline still even, but Romsey knew they were fortunate not to be behind. Romsey’s general play improved early in the second half but remained senselessly panicked when it came to the final third of the pitch. The home defence consistently picked off ill thought out passes and even when Romsey did manage to engineer a 1-on-1 opportunity with the goalkeeper the chance was tamely wasted attempting a first time shot.

With the visitors unable to produce much of substance going forward, the backline of Miles, Welch and man of the match David Edwards were kept busy with Sunbury looking increasingly dangerous as they broke from midfield. Several high tempo attacks were snuffed out by the Romsey defence before the floodgates temporarily opened, seeing two goals scored in as many minutes after Romsey were punished for twice turning the ball over near the halfway line. Romsey huffed and puffed in the final minutes but remained toothless despite working the ball into the ‘D’ on several occasions. 

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