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

A spirited fightback was insufficient to overcome an early deficit when Romsey travelled to their high division opponents, but the Abbey side can be pleased that they recovered from a very poor start to hold their own in the remaining three quarters of the game.

Romsey fashioned the first chance when striker Lewis Birch won the ball after putting a defender under pressure and the resulting shot was fired through the legs of the advancing goalkeeper and only just wide of the the target.

Soon the visitors were on the back foot however as Bournemouth settled into their rhythm whilst Romsey looked nervous in possession. A rash attempt to force a long ball from defence was picked off and the hosts punished the mistake fully, converting the counter-attack with a low reverse stick effort.

Bournemouth were looking consistently dangerous as they pinned the visitors into their own half,  peppering the final third of the pitch with through balls searching for their ever willing attacking runners, and it was little surprise when a second goal came in similar fashion to the first.

Romsey got themselves back into the game when Ben Mullan drilled a hit into the crowded ‘D’ and Neil Strong showed sharp reactions at the back post to put the ball away after it took a deflection off an attacking stick. Romsey’s attacking pressure won several penalty corners during the game but they were unable to produce much from these opportunities.

In the second half Romsey continued to improve in possession, demonstrating the necessary patience to transfer the ball around the back until the right ball forward presented itself, whilst Mullan earned his sides’ man of the match nomination for working tirelessly in the midfield to link up play. Bournemouth finished a penalty corner with a pinpoint dragflick into the bottom left corner to extend their lead however.

Tom McCarthy had already troubled the defence on several occassions with his silky skills and incisive dribbling and he cut the deficit by driving along the baseline and flicking a finish from a narrow angle as the ‘keeper prematurely stepped out anticipating a pass.

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