Bournemouth 6 3-2 Romsey 3

Another windy day in Bournemouth saw the Romsey Men’s 3rd XI slump to their frustrating first defeat of the season. Up to this point the thirds had maintained their 100 percent start to the season and were feeling confident, although they knew most of the league’s big boys were still to come before Christmas.

Romsey started the first half brightly and, after some initial defending, scored in the 8th minute of play. The goal, scored by striker Ben Ellis, seemed to create a change in the mentality of both teams. Having gone behind, Bournemouth were stronger in their attacking play – pushing forward for an equaliser. Romsey, by contrast, seemed to soften in the knowledge that they were a goal to the good, and the net result of this was a Bournemouth equaliser not long before half time. The break was an opportunity for captain Matt Clark to try and knock a few heads together, and kick-start Romsey back into action. Although the back three of Luke Hammond, Mark McArdle and Hugh Davidson had stayed relatively strong, Romsey’s central midfielders, Danny Nicole and Jon Marsh, had been dragged out of position by Bournemouth and had been unable to exert their usual influence over the game. Despite this, Romsey had still looked lively going forward and the striking trio of Matchy Lincoln, Zak Cooper and Ben Ellis injected energy into the away side.

After the interval Romsey started strong, with Ellis netting his second of the afternoon – with Lincoln claiming the assist. Romsey looked pretty comfortable after taking the lead again until a Bournemouth corner, which would have been ruled out had the ball not touched a Romsey stick on its way into the D, was swept first time into the goal. The 1 in 100 strike came as a surprise for both teams, and seemed to shock the thirds who conceded again shortly after. At 3-2 down, Romsey piled onto Bournemouth at the close of the game and surely would have levelled had it not been for the heroics of Bournemouth’s young keeper.

This game was always going to be a challenge for Romsey, and a number of factors gave Bournemouth the advantage. A bouncy pitch or a windy day is not, however, an excuse for some of the bad play exhibited and Romsey will be hoping to bounce back into form for their next game.

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