In their penultimate game of the season Romsey knew a point was all that was needed to secure promotion, but a win would mean that avoiding defeat away to second placed Havant next week would see them Div 6 Champions.

Southampton were a much improved team from the first half of the season, and a tough match was in store.

Romsey weathered a swift Southampton start and Greig Stewart and Jim East began to take control of the centre of the pitch. East played in Martin Simpson-Scott with a direct ball in to the D and Scott deflected the ball to the top corner, only to see the Southampton keeper pull off a fine save.

This was repeated as Stewart played in Colin Harwood and the keeper kept out his shot, Harwood then played in Dave Andrews from right back and he won a penalty corner, this time the keeper kept out a Stewart flick shot.

Romsey made further chances, Sam Barcia unfortunate that play was pulled back and a penalty corner given after he put the ball in the goal, and Jacob Arney was unable to get a touch on a fin pass from Barcia.

Carl Hendy provided some guile but even his deft touches were kept out.

Romsey then had to counter a Southampton break and the sucker punch came as Southampton were awarded a penalty corner, as Dave Andrews charged out to block the shot he pushed the ball on the the attackers striking stick, and with two deflections Southampton were 1-0 up a lead they held until half time.

Romsey were not deflated and had been playing good hockey, just lacking a pass rather than a shot in front of goal to outwit the excellent Southampton keeper.

The second half started with Romsey roared on by Romsey Ladies hockey players, and Romsey tried to build on the superb support from the sidelines. Sam Barcia was keen to impress, and he began to make a number of moves down the Romsey right. He played in Harwood to cross for Arney and then Hendy had a chance that the keeper smothered.

Then Barcia picked the ball up on the half way line and played a quick pass to Harwood who turned and raced to the D, Hendy pulled wide and received the ball taking out the goalkeeper and defender with a return pass, which Barcia picked up and slammed in the equaliser to send the crowd wild.

Romsey now were in the driving seat and a winding run from Stewart saw him up ended by the goalkeeper. Penalty Flick was the result. Up stepped Hendy to put Romsey ahead, but the goalkeeper somehow managed to save his effort!

Romsey were not to be denied however, and despite having to call on Craig Mellor to keep out a solitary second half Southampton shot, Ian Wilson and Captain Stuart Robertson kept the Romsey defence solid, and with Andrew Archibald and Jim East swapping, it was Romsey who were looking for the winner.

Fergus Longman and Stewart exchaged passes before Stewart shot from the top of the D and got a deflection from Southampton stick to put Romsey ahead with just three minutes to play.

Despite going down to ten men for the last three minutes, with Simpson-Scott yellow carded for too much talk, Romsey held on to secure all three points and go in to their final match against Havant top of Div 6 on goal difference to next weeks opponents.

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