Following a week of cancelled matches and training due to the frosty weather, the Ladies 3rd XI were keen to get back on the pitch. A 14 strong side faced Portsmouth & Southsea, currently placed fourth in the league and 8 points ahead. Romsey started well, putting some early pressure on the home side. However Portsmouth weathered this and started to find their stride, playing some composed hockey, especially through the midfield which they dominated for much of the game. Romsey were boosted by the returning Ladies 2s striker Ella P, coming back from injury, but a high cross from Anne H caught her hand and she was off the pitch, having started to provide some good control and opportunities going forward. Portsmouth’s midfield dominance provided them with many attacking opportunities and the Romsey defence had plenty of action including several short corners. However it was open play that produced the first goal for Portsmouth, surging forward in numbers and allowing a well struck shot to find the back of the net. Under pressure, Romsey struggled to link together, losing too many balls on the attack and a 2nd Portsmouth goal soon followed, for a 2-0 lead at half time.

After another poor push back, Romsey regrouped and started to penetrate the Portsmouth D more, producing a number of attacking short corners, one of which was converted by centre back Hilary A. The team started to believe in themselves and played some much better hockey. The midfield worked tirelessly to win back the ball and drive forward, with debutant and U16 Jess G playing a solid game and linking well with the more established players. This allowed forward Ruth M to find herself up close with the Portsmouth goalie and winning a short corner. A fantastic pass from Ella P found the youngest member of the team Grace M making a perfectly timed run and scoring her first goal for the team in style. Unfortunately Portsmouth came straight back, not tiring despite only having 11 players and finding plenty of chances up front. An unlucky goalmouth scramble saw the ball trickle frustratingly over the line. Romsey kept pushing forward to try for a late equaliser, but were caught out by an unmarked player surging into the D and scoring from a well struck cross.

Despite the final 4-2 scoreline, Romsey were buoyed by their performance, having scored 2 goals against a strong side and playing much better as a team. The whole game was also a pleasure to play thanks to the excellent umpiring at both ends – Thank You Nick W.

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