Romsey Men’s 1st XI 3 – 0 Honourable Artillery Company Men’s 1st XI

Victory in their final league game lifted Romsey to a very respectable 7th place finish for their first season of highly competitive regional hockey in Hants/Surrey Div. 2, but the win was far from straightforward. HAC hit the post and won numerous penalty corners with Joe Welch denying a couple of these efforts on the line, who then went up the other end of the pitch to show the toothless visitors how to finish a set piece, placing a dragflick neatly inside the right post.

Romsey were soon rewarded for their improved play after the break as Mark Gilbert quickly restarted play after being fouled and a clinical move via David Edwards and Jack Forrest-Charde saw Ben Mullan supply an assist for Neil Strong’s pinpoint finish into the corner.

Tom Ponsford - Carded !

Tom Ponsford – Carded !

A third goal soon after appeared to seal the result, with Forrest-Charde’s lifted shot deflected into the roof of the net by Lewis Birch’s lightning sharp reactions.

Romsey were then under the cosh for a ten minute spell with HAC seemingly certain to score on several occasions, only to be denied by last ditch tackling and numerous fantastic saves by man of the match Lozz Scott in goal.

With quarter of an hour left Romsey suffered a wholly unnecessary implosion that threatened to ruin the previous hard work. Tom Ponsford took his complaints to the umpire much too far after a penalty corner was awarded and received a sin-binning for the remainder of the game, and compounded the matter by ignoring instructions from the official regarding where he should serve the penalty, leading to the Romsey captain being yellow carded as well in punishment.

A couple of minutes later the home side were temporarily down to eight players as Birch was carded for a slide tackle, yet HAC actually threatened the goal less than when facing a full side, with Romsey holding on relatively comfortably. This brought the haul from their final nine games to seven wins and a draw, a brilliant run which saw them climb from a position several points adrift at the bottom of the table to their eventual mid-table security.

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