Stuart Robertson

Teamwork and Passing = Goals

Romsey U12 Girls travelled to Southampton for their first match of the season.  The team started strongly from the outset, with newcomer Eva Ackerman dominating the middle of the pitch and making some strong passes to forwards Molly Knapman, Phoebe Lewis and Eleanor Blake. The girls put lots of pressure on Southampton, intercepting passes and making some great tackles. It was from one of these interceptions that midfielder Annabel Coltart took the ball into the D and struck hard, scoring her first goal for the team.  This seemed to wake up the opposition who made plenty of counter-attacks, but the defensive team were solid. Centre Back Lily Pilinger, who was also awarded Player of the Match, had a great game, using her speed to good effect to chase down the attack and take the ball off them.

In the second of the three periods of play, Romsey kept up a strong, fast moving attack. Mia Adams and Phoebe Lewis combined well down the right wing, passing the ball to Eva who’s strike flew up into the back of the net for an unstoppable goal number 2.   The girls’ confidence grew and more great passing in the midfield between Olivia Wells and Hermione Murray saw a long hit fall to Molly Knapman, who calmly put the ball away for her first goal of the season.

The final third was a continuation of the first two. The girls kept attacking, but also maintained a strong defence which saw backs Chalrotte Ackerman, Grace French and Evelyn Berensford marking tightly and putting in some great tackles. Southampton won a couple of short corners, but the girls came out fast and denied the opposition a chance to score. Energy levels remained high and the team took every opportunity to counter attack. Some more fine teamwork saw Phoebe Lewis pick up a pass in the D, make a lovely turn and score. Romsey made it very hard for Southampton to clear the ball out from their half and Molly Knapman was well positioned to pick up another long ball for her second goal.

Anna Loadman, playing in goal, had a great match, staying focused and coming out strongly when the opposition threatened.

It was only in the final minutes of the game that Southampton put a long ball through to one of their forwards who was unmarked and managed to take the ball in and score. The final result was a very well deserved Romsey 5 Southampton 1.

Romsey Men’s 2’s first outing of the season meant a trip to Fareham at HMS Collingwood. With a few of the regulars absent from the line up, it meant that at the start of play it was an unfamiliar 11 players lined up to take on this unpredictable Fareham 6’s side.

You wouldn’t have thought that this bothered Romsey at all after watching the initial 10 minutes of Hockey, with some good passing and creative skill to create an opening for Captain of the day “Mozza” to score. The move was Romsey’s best of the match so far with good work from Ben Davidson, now revelling in the spot light after his older brother Hugh while he’s away, to get in down the right and a quick pass to Sam B who squared for Moz at far post. 1-0 to Romsey.

In the space of the next 10 minutes however, Fareham had got themselves in front. Overloads in the Romsey D helped by hitting the ball long through the channels, thusly cutting out the entire midfield, meant Fareham started looking dangerous going forward and an extra man at back post on one move meant Fareham were able to fire home for the 1st to go 1-1. The second came after a tough 10 minutes for the Romsey defence with Nigel King providing some excellent saves until finally having one get past him on the rebound for Fareham to go 2 -1 up

Romsey responded well though and after some constant pressure pegging Fareham back, another nice move down the right from Ben led to Art Barcia having enough space to set up his brother Sam Barcia to first time reverse hit low at the back post under the Fareham keeper for Romsey to go back to 2 – 2.

Half time talks were constructive and after a conversation between defensive stalwarts Jim Ponsford and Rob Noble, the defensive shape was altered slightly to block out the long hitting tactics of Fareham in the most part of the second half. Fareham pushed forward to try and get back in front but never looked as dangerous as they did in the first half. Romsey on the other hand were moving the ball nicely with Man of the Match Felix Chapman-Sheath providing some quick one twos to help make it 3 – 2 to Romsey. This time it was Sam again who broke free at the top of the D and produced a majestic flick to lob the keeper as he slid out. Quite superb.

4 – 2 to Romsey came in the dying minutes of the game as a now tired looking Fareham pushed higher up the field were cut down by a fantastic passing move which ended up in Cameron Le-Grande hitting the ball home in clinical fashion to seal the game.

It was a tough first away game of the season for Romsey 2’s but the cool heads and the constant threat of their front five meant they came away with a well fought 3 points to keep them top of Hants Division 4.

Sunday saw a lovely sunny tournament at Winchester.

The first match against Trojans 1 was well fought and saw some close marking of players, a lovely run at goal from Milly and confident tackling from Lewie. But although Romsey maintained pressure up in the opposition’s half they ended the match 2-0 to Trojans.

The second match against Andover saw two similarly matched teams fighting for supremacy. Tom W and Tom C made great attempts at goal and defenders Imogen and Tilly worked confidently, tackling with precision. Ellie made a number of vital, confident saves and the end result was 0-0.

A tough match against Bournemouth ended with a score of 3-0 to the opposition, however the next match saw great work midfield by Harriet and tenacious tackling by Toby. Romsey dominated the match and Hannah, Milly and Tom were unlucky not to score, hitting the post several times. The game ended 0-0.

The final match saw Romsey triumph with a 2-1 win against Winchester with excellent goals from Milly and Tom C supported by the rest of the team.  Well done to all!

October has seen Romsey Under 16 girls continue where they left off in September with two convincing wins .

END TO END !

Their first match on the 1st of October was at home to Southampton in the league . The away team had a strong start with keeper Alice Dyer called into action making a splendid sliding save plus several others to keep the opposition out . Inevitably Southampton scored a  goal which stunned Romsey into action and it was not long before Zoe Henderson after a strong run and neat finish bought Romsey level .

It remained 1:1  for most of the first half with both teams defending extremely well , so much so Alex Orak fractured her finger in a strong tackle and was forced to come off and be replaced .   In the last few minutes of the half it was end to end action seeing Southampton go 2:1 up before Bobs made it 2:2 with a fine finish .

The second half saw Romsey  take control immediately  and Zoe Henderson got her second goal within a minute of the re-start . You could see the team grow in confidence and they started to boss the game with fine passing and movement in midfield leading to Phoebe Moriarty -Palios  calming slotting the ball past the Southampton keeper from the left hand side of the D .

The remainder of the half saw more end to end action but Romsey were clinical with their finishing seeing Sophie Lawson net from close range and Bobs complete her second hatrick of the season .

The final score to a thrilling match was 7-2 to Romsey  , well played to both teams for such an entertaining match!

SUNSHINE CUP SUCCESS !

The 8th of October saw Romsey under 16 Girls take on a strong New Forest Side in the first round of The Hampshire Cup in Lymington .

Both teams had strong support and all were enjoying the glorious weather with temperatures peaking at 20 degrees !

Romsey came out of the blocks very quickly and had wave after wave of attacks with Jess Grout and Ella Manger linking up well with atackers Zoe Henderson and Hannah Loran , however  the New forest defence was very strong .

New Forest soon came into the game and put the Romsey defence under pressure but they responded with great tackles from Emily Proctor , Emily Wann and good distribution down the line from Liz Field soon had Romsey on the front foot again .

It was not long before Zoe Henderson broke free  on the right and closed in on goal to score with a low hard shot into the corner .

However it remained 1:0 until half time and the New forest defence was being very stubborn .

Into the second half Romsey kept pressing forward looking for the all important second goal which soon came after a nice move down the left putting Pheobe Moriarty – Palios in the clear and she calmly put the ball in the right hand corner of the goal to put Romsey 2:0 in the lead .

Romsey were now in control with Sarah MacLeod and Clara Hackett running the midfield , more goals followed one from Zoe Henderson and with an inspired substitution Jess Whetran came on up front for Zoe and scored with her first touch and still had time for another one to make the final score Romsey 5 New forest 0 .

The player of the match as chosen by the opposition much to everyone’s approval was Sarah MacLeod after a great midfield performance .

A super team effort now sees Romsey go into the second round of the Hampshire Cup !

Great start to the season with U8s unbeaten in Winchester

Anna Ackerman, Oscar Cowburn (2), Camilla Day, Elsie Duncan (1), Clara Fuller, Charlie Gray (3), Caitlin Jupp (1), Sophie Morris, Anna Shepherd.

There was a lot of excitement with the U8s travelling to Winchester for the first mini tournament of the season. With most of the team having represented Romsey over the last season confidence was high going in to the first game against New Forest. Romsey enjoyed the majority of the possession in this game with midfielders Camilla, Clara and Caitlin controlling the midfield well and feeding the ball in to Oscar and Charlie up front. Oscar broke through after another period of possession scoring the first goal, this was followed with 2 goals from Charlie, Romsey winning 3-0.

The next game saw Romsey face Trojans. This game was fiercely contested and saw Romsey’s defence of Elsie and Oscar remaining solid whilst being well tested. Both were up to the task clearing the ball well for midfielders Anna A, Anna S and Sophie to pass on the Romsey’s forward line. As the game progressed Romsey grew in confidence, resulting in in a goal for Charlie. In the final few minutes Caitlin won the ball on the half way line and following a great run scored Romsey’s second, Romsey winning 2-0.

Romsey’s third game was against Bournemouth. This was a fast paced highly competitive end to end game with both teams showing great determination and putting together some lovely passing sequences. Both teams came close to scoring however the deadlock was not broken, final score 0-0. The whole team worked really hard in this game and came off the pitch with big smiles!

Against Southampton Romsey again enjoyed some great periods of possession. Camilla and Clara held great positions in defence with Southampton barely getting a glimpse of the Romsey goal. Anna A and Sophie worked hard in midfield. Following some great Romsey passing in the Southampton ‘D’ Catlin crossed the ball for Oscar to score his second of the day. Following the restart Southampton were unable to clear the ball due to great running and tackling from Charlie, this pressure lead to Elsie popping up to score Romsey’s second. Romsey winning 2-0.

Romsey’s final game was against hosts Winchester. This game proved to be the most exciting, nail biting and frustrating game of the day!! The Romsey team worked really hard keeping and maintaining possession with the ball barely leaving the Winchester ‘D’. Romsey hit the post and saw the ball go centimetres wide on at least 4 occasions. Romsey were really unlucky not to score and the game finished 0-0. Again the team came off the pitch with big smiles having really enjoyed being a part of such an exciting game.

Overall the Team enjoyed a great morning. The hard work put in in training could really be seen, team spirit was also evident and attitude fantastic.

Romsey finally kicked off their season in the Men’s 4s after a postponement the previous week with a hard fought point away at Alton.

Romsey had three 13 year olds making their Men’s debuts, and with half the team 16 or under it was an even split of youth and experience.

Romsey started the brighter, and Josh Harwood was unlucky when his goal bound shot blown up for a high ball after it hit the defenders leg.

Will Ritchie on the left of midfield made some excellent runs combining with Will Richards and James Manning to carve the Alton defence open, and soon after a ball played to Colin Harwood at the top of the circle who played it square to Josh Harwood, he beat his man and squared it back to Harwood Senior, another one two between the pair took out the keeper allowing Colin Harwood to put the ball in the empty goal.

Soon after Romsey doubled their lead, a fine  through ball from Dave Andrews in centre midfield was fired in to the circle and Top marksman Carl Hendy got a deft touch to glance it past the keeper for 2-0.

Romsey didn’t have it their own way and Duncan Sanders and Dave Loescher had to make several interceptions to clear Romsey lines, a hit outside the circle from Alton was deflected on to the Romsey post, and cleared and Bryn Wathen was called upon to make three clearances.

With James Tower supporting down the right, it looked like Romsey might get a third as James Fuller, Will Ritchie and Josh Harwood all came close, but Romsey were undone just before half time when they gave away a penalty corner and Alton made it 2-1.

The second half saw Alton up their game Romsey were left to absorb pressure. Elliot Colyer held his own at right back, cutting out a number of Alton plays and then using his skill to move up the right hand side.

Romsey almost got a third from a breakaway when Rob Cav was played in but his shot hit a foot and Romseys penalty corner was cleared off the line, and then James Fuller was in but the keeper narrowed the angel to make the save.

With 15 minutes to go Alton got the equaliser they deserved and they led to an exciting last quarter with both sides having chances.

Andrews and Hendy both had half chances, while Colyer created opportunities up the right but Fuller, Ritchie and Harwood jnr couldn’t covert in to goal scoring plays.

The Alton keeper managed to lay on top on Harwood Senior which resulted in a penalty corner and both players receiving their teams awards in the clubhouse after.

A fair result in the end as Wathen in goal and the solid defence kept Alton out.

Romsey U12 Boy’s got their season underway with a good performance against Trojans and were unlucky that the score didn’t reflect their efforts or dominance in most of the game.  Fielding five new players, Thomas and Daniel Hodge, Harry Garton and Rupert Willes in the outfield and Joe Williams in goal, Romsey started very strongly with most of the first period played in the Trojans half.

The early pressure told with a great goal from Rupert who scored with one of his first touches in his first Hockey game.

As Trojans soaked up the pressure, Romsey’s defensive line pushed further and further up the field, Romsey back 3 of Daniel Hodge, Owen South and Freddie O’Hara were defending well in the Trojans half when they were hit by a break, great scrambling defence from Romsey prevented a score but Trojans did earn a short corner.  After the corner was taken, a brilliant tackle and pass from Sebastian Wells, lead to Sam Attfield breaking down the centre of the pitch and one on one with the keeper he was denied a goal by a great save.

Romsey used the width of the pitch well, with Jack Jones on one wing and Luke Walter on the other both causing problems for Trojans midfield. However, despite maintaining much of the possession and territory Romsey could force a second goal and the first period ended 1 nil to Romsey.

Trojans started the second period much stronger, three good attaching moves were dealt with by Romsey’s defence, then a shot on goal was well stopped by Joe Wiliams, but the pressure soon told when Trojans had a two on one with the Romsey keeper and a square pass to an unmarked attacker on the post led to a simple tap-in.

Romsey’s attack starting to fire again when Owen South fed a pass to Jack Meehan who made a good run upfield, then Sebastian earned a short corner for Romsey from a promising move up the wind. With the action going end to end the second period ended one all.

The third period started well for Romsey’s passing game, Thomas Hodge found Sam Attfield who passed to Luke Walters who was unlucky to see his shot just go wide. Then Trojans hit back on the break, and Harry Garton, who was the last man back, managed to clear the ball. The Trojans broke again and scored with a great hit from just inside the dee.  The goal seemed to up Trojans energy and they soon made it four with a goal from a short corner.

Next for Romsey came a goal that is an early contender for goal of the season.  Will Rossdale took a sideline ball and started up the wing, he used a reverse dink to pop the ball through a defender’s legs and carried on, past serval more defenders into the dee and scored.  It was a goal that earned him the man of the match nomination from Trojans.

The match ended with a good period of pressure from Romsey who earned a couple of short corners but they didn’t manage to score and so the match finished up 4, 2 to Trojans.

After two months of reasonable game and set piece training, but hampered by poor pre-league availability, a buoyant Romsey team finally delivered the goods against a relatively limited 10-man opposition.  Playing with our preferred single forward, five-man midfield and one-three defence plus three subs, a crushing result of 9-1 in our favour provided just the start that was needed.

RHC got the perfect start when Mozza Simpson-Scott seized on a defensive error to round the keeper within the first minute; this was backed up by a mazy, lanky run plus lunge from Ali Nawn – 2-0 in ten minutes.  Play then continued back and forth for most of the half.  Surprisingly, B&S won the first few penalty corners, but the home defence, well marshalled by Rob Noble and Jimmy Ponsford, held firm.  Following a couple of sharp saves from Nigel King in goal, a loopy miss-hit deceived everyone – 2-1!  Disappointed, but not undone, RHC immediately responded with Tom Wigley easing through and making it 3-1.  RHC then started to really dominate.  Strong performances from Jamie Sanderson in defence aided by Ben Davidson on the right and Felix Chapman-Sheath and Mozza higher up ensured that the ball was kept alive; several further chances went begging.  Not that everything was all one sided, the left flank of James Croft-Baker (JCB) and Cameron Le Grande also provided a constant threat.

After a positive half-time talk, RHC really turned the screw.  Six more goals followed:  Tom, Mozza, Ben, Ali and Noah Cooper (2).  Overall, RHC used the ball well, switching left and right, probing, but coming back as required; exactly to plan.  Even better, player availability for ball release was much improved; good calling and direction also helped.  On the down side, some ill considered individual runs, the odd aerial or wishful 45 degree pass still led to lost possession; patience is needed here.  Play the game plan, simple, considered; keep the ball, then pounce.  RHC gained any number of penalty corners.  Whilst we did not score, there were several near misses and, in the main, all routines looked dangerous.  Considering we had 14 players and numerous substitutions, it was good to see the team so effective in this essential set play; well worth our pre-league practices.

In summary, an excellent start against a weaker team; more demanding games will follow.  League debutants Jamie (MoM), Noah and Felix all played their part – well done.  Given their ages and relative inexperience, this was really pleasing.  A further mention must also go to Spencer Le Grande who managed to execute Ali’s substitution plan without fault; pace, structure and rhythm were maintained throughout.  Not mentioned above, but still worthy of note:  Christian Pain for a mature performance in central midfield playing ahead of Ali and Dave Miles who covered most positions in defence at some stage.

Romsey under 16 girls travelled to Fleet & Ewshot on Sunday the 17th of September, their first game of the new season .

Romsey arrived with a strong squad which soon showed as Zoe Henderson scored early on taking the ball past two defenders before a confident finish.

Minutes later Zoe was at it again passing players and putting a cross in for Sophie Lawson to finish with aplomb . It was not long before Bobs Cooper and Hannah Loran got in on the  act scoring convincingly . 

After 20 mins Romsey were 5 nil ahead and the defence marshalled by Emily Wann had not given Fleet any attempts on goal.

A further number of  goals followed in the second half including an expertly taken penalty by Sarah McLeod. Fleet had tried to rally and hit the post but solid defending from Antonia Luckhurst , Alex Orak , Emily Procter and Keeper Alice Dyer denied the opposition a goal!

As the game entered the final phase The Romsey midfield were running the show and great passing  from Georgina Scott , Ella Manger , Liz Field and Phoebe Moriarty-Palios got Romsey up the pitch quickly which saw Zoe Henderson, Sarah McLeod, and Sophie Lawson complete their hatricks!

With the clock running down Bobs was back on the pitch determined to get her hatrick which she duly did with a cool finish . Hannah popped in her second goal of the day in after reading play well , and at the final whistle it was a resounding 14-0 win for Romsey .

A fantastic team performance all round , well done girls !

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