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With a number of new players making their debut for the Club, Romsey were able to field two teams for the first time this season.

Romsey A’s made a great start to the tournament with an excellent 2-0 win over Salisbury B.  Romsey took the lead early with a fantastic run and shot from Imogen H.  Romilly M added a second goal from close range after some great play from Sophie M to seal a comfortable win.

In the second game Romsey took on local rivals Southampton.  Tenacious tackling from Maya S, Camilla D and Clara F kept the pressure on the opposition, and persistence was rewarded when Romilly M scored her second goal of the tournament.

Game 3 proved very tough as Romsey came up against a very strong Bournemouth team.  Defenders Joe G, Annabel K and Romilly M were kept busy and did well to limit the scoreline to 2-0 to bournemouth.  Game 4 against Trojans ended in 1-0 defeat, but was a much closer game with Romsey unlucky not to equalise after a great late counter attack from Zach W.

Romsey went into the final game determined to end on a high. Camilla D and Clara F were again dominant in the midfield and it was an excellent team performance.  Romsey got the goal they deserved with just a couple of minutes remaining, when Joe G provided a precise pass across the D for Zach W to score.  The team can all be very proud of an excellent morning’s hockey!

 

 

First up for Romsey B’s were Salisbury. Once settled Romsey looked strong with the midfield of Anna S, Sophie and Oscar keeping possession well and passing the ball amongst themselves. After a few minutes of possession Caitlin broke free and made a great pass across the ‘D’ to Charlie for Romsey’s first goal. A couple of minutes later Caitlin again broke free with the ball, into the ‘D’ and scored. Final score 2-0.

Romsey’s next game was against Trojans. The initial few minutes of this game were end to end with Romsey’s defence of Oscar and Joseph well tested but very much up to the task. Romsey then took control making some nice passes through the midfield, this period of possession resulting in a goal for Elsie. After the goal Romsey’s confidence grew; following a great run Charlie scored Romsey’s second and was on the end of an Oscar pass for Romsey’s third of the game.

With confidence high Romsey started positively against Winchester. Midfielders Anna A, Evelyn and Oscar worked hard maintaining possession, following a great sequence of passes Oscar crossed from the right for Caitlin to score. After the restart Winchester were unable to clear the ball, Elsie popping up to score Romsey’s second from a Charlie pass.

The fourth game against hosts Southampton was highly competitive in the opening few minutes. Sophie made some great penetrating runs into the Southampton ‘D’ towards the end of the game, this pressure resulted in Caitlin scoring from an Oscar side line and Oscar scoring himself shortly afterwards.

Bournemouth were Romsey’s final and toughest opponents. Both teams showed great determination with the Romsey defence holding firm for most of the game. Unfortunately Romsey conceded late in the game suffering their only loss of the day.

Overall the team had a great morning putting into practice their skills learnt in training; movement off the ball, communication between players and passing all looked great as well as the spirit building within the team.

Romsey U12 Boy’s held on for a thrilling win against Gosport Borough Under 12.  In the closing seconds of the match, Gosport were awarded a short corner, which, to build up the tension, had to be retaken as one of the Romsey defenders was deemed to have leapt from the goal line before the ball was injected by Gosport.  At the second attempt, all the Gosport team, bar the goalkeeper, filled the Romsey Dee meaning 10 players attacked against 4 defending.  To end the game as winners Romsey needed to clear the ball from the goal area, Gosport attacked as the rest of the Romsey players ran from the halfway line to help as Joe Williams in goal, Harry Garton, Jack Jones and Frederick O’Hara defending tried to clear the ball.  Gosport managed a shot at goal but it was too high and the game was won by Romsey.

The game started a little one-sided, as Romsey’s passing game meant that they had most of the territory and possession. Early runs for Luke Walter and Rupert Willes led to shots from Jack Meehan being well saved by the Gasport Keeper. The first Romsey goal came from a short corner, Romsey’s third of the match, Luke Walter injected to Marcus Lake who passed back to Luke who had run to the near post for a well-worked goal.  Gosport tried to hit back quickly with Romsey’s Goalie Joe clearing the line as a goal looked imminent, Romsey defence, including Henry Allsopp, making his debut, and Daniel Hodge managed to keep the ball was in Gosport’s half for the remainder of the first period which finished 1 nil to Romsey.

The second period started with more Romsey pressure as the midfield of Thomas Hodge, Owen South, Sebastian Wells and Harry Garton dominated possession.  The Gosport Goalie kept his team in the match as Romsey couldn’t find a goal that their pressure deserved.  Marcus Lake forced the Keeper to make several saves, Rupert Wills had three shots saved within seconds and then Gosport hit back with a length of the pitch attack that was stopped by Jack Jones running back as he clearing the ball from the Romsey Dee to the sideline. 

The second period may have finished goalless but the third period opened up with goals from each side.  For Romsey Marcus Lake, who was nominated as the man of the match, scored a well-fought goal having muscled his way past 4 defenders to increase the lead.  His goal was immediately cancelled out as Gosport scored from a short corner, won straight from the re-start.  Gosport soon scored again as a long ball downfield was slotted into the Romsey goal.  With the score at 2, 2, Jack Meehan was unlucky to have a shot deflected by the Keeper, as the ball looped onto the top of the Gosport goal.  Jack then followed up with another attack, forcing the keeper to save, but this time Marcus was lurking close to goal to score with a real poachers effort, picking the ball up from just behind the Goalie to score a simple goal.

As the match drew to a close the tension increased as Gosport mounted several attacks, which resulted in the short corner being the final play.

The U12 girls travelled to Trojans this Sunday for their 3rd game of the season, having just 11 players and no subs. The team was without 2 key defenders so several players had to step into unfamiliar roles. Strong performances from Molly K, Annabel C and Evelyn B helped the team to fend off numerous attacks from a well drillled Trojans side. Defending for much of the first third, the team produced some solid passing hockey, but were unable to capitalise on the attacking opportunities they had. Trojans had one extremely tall, skillful player who was able to outrun the Romsey defence and produce many hard struck shots on goal. 3 of these were on target and the girls were 0-3 down by the end of the first third.

Romsey played their best hockey of the season in the second third, dominating the game much more. Numerous long balls got through the Trojans defence to find Phoebe L, Issy  R and Olivia W. The girls passed the ball well producing some great attacking runs, but were unable to convert their chances into goals. However the constant pressure from the midfield and good defence from Charlotte A, Eleanor B and goalkeeper Anna L denied Trojans the opportunity to score and the second third saw no goals.

In the final third a tireless Mia A, now tasked with marking the Trojans centre forward, managed to limit her ability to get into the D, but could not prevent a couple of great shots from finding the target. Despite some suberb goalkeeping from Anna L, Trojans always seemed to have a player ready to pounce on any ball kicked away. Romsey were feeling their lack of subs, but kept pushing forwards. A final opportunity came at the end as Romsey were awarded an attacking short corner, but the final whistle blew as the team were judged not to have allowed the ball to go outside the D. The final score was 5-0 to Trojans, but this was probably Romsey’s strongest performance so far and the girls have much to be proud of.

Star player was awarded to Phoebe L.

Romsey travelled to Swanage with only 11 players and initially the absence of the Harwood clan saw Romsey fall two behind to some simple goals.

At this point Romsey reacted positively without their talismanic skipper and and started to put together some excellent moves going forward. A Nick Mason shot was deflected past the keeper by old stalwart and top scorer Carl Hendy.

This was followed by superb work by midfield duo of D Andrews and M Duke keeping Romsey on the front foot and resulting in Mason scoring a wonderful solo effort to draw the teams level.

Romsey took the lead from another rMason strike and continued to dominate.

Disappointingly despite resolute defending from Parker, Loescher, Cavalier and Suleja Swanage poked the ball past Wathen in goal to equalise before half time.

The second half saw the opposition strengthen their midfield and in a close fought half another moment of solo magic by Man of the Match Mason won it for Romsey 4 – 3, maintaining their unbeaten start to the season after five games, with next up unbeaten Isle of Wight this Saturday, another encounter where Harwoods Senior and Junior will be missing!

Romsey Ladies 1XI travelled to Basingstoke for an early morning game. Basingstoke started confidently, looking to build on their strong start to their return to Division 1. On a wet and bouncy pitch, Romsey tried to acclimatise themselves to the conditions, working the ball well from defence through the midfielders to the forwards. Kate Moss and Bethan Knights worked well in the centre of the pitch, distributing the ball out and working well to cover the direct moves that Basingstoke were making as they looked fierce in attack. Romsey worked well as a team, coming back to cover when Basingstoke made moves forward causing Emily Slade to make some committed challenges to break down the attacks. There were some promising attacks from both sides, with Emily Williams, Emma Beeching and Kate Olingschlaeger making runs up front and driving the ball into the D to try and get a shot off on goal. However, neither side could make the most of their chances, and the score was 0-0 at half time.
Basingstoke came out hard after the break, GK and player of the game, Laura Kemp was quick to drop to the floor and prevent Basingstoke from finishing off one of their direct attacks on goal. Romsey gained in confidence as they kept the home side at bay, with S.Forbes and Emma Bouchard working hard in midfield to try open up gaps in the Basingstoke back line. Romsey were determined to make the most of their penetrations into the D, winning numerous short corners. Erica Jenner stopped the ball at the top of the D and dribbled in towards to goal, causing the Basingstoke keeper to drop to the floor to try to prevent an attack. This allowed R.Cooper to slot the ball into the goal past the keepers pads with 8 minutes of the game to go. All Romsey had to do was keep their heads and try prevent a Basingstoke attack. G.Hebert worked relentlessly in defensive to ensure that Romsey finished the game 1-0 winners. A total of 8 players received players for man of the match, which sums up how much of a team performance this win was.

RHC 2nd XI travelled away to last year’s relegated league newcomers reasonably confident that victory would be gained.  Our opponents had lost all six previous fixtures, letting in 38 goals in the process.  However, given our own recent defeats and variable degree of team discipline, there was definitely no room for complacency.  Again, the bonus of an away fixture, found us all changed and available in the changing room some 30 minutes before the start.  This time was well spent reinforcing how our five-man midfield was meant to work; protect the centre-midfield at all costs, and use the ball.

Despite a good team talk and an apparently focussed team, there was little time for a good warm up; limited pitch time was also broken up with a two-minute silence.  In the global scheme of things, it is important to remember those who really did give everything.

RHC got just the start that was needed with a good passing move ending up with Art B scoring after just two minutes.  However, this lead was short lived with a double deflection deceiving Nigel K in goal; a lack of personal focus, trying to play, run the subs and coach does not work!  That said; this set back woke RHC up.  In defence, Jamie S, Rob N, Ali N and Ben D easily contained sporadic attacks and even found time to attack.  Greig S produced a composed performance at centre midfield ably supported by two of Art, Felix C-S and Neil S in rotation.  Wide midfield support and pace was provided by Connor O’D, Sam W and Archie A, again two of three in rotation.  Connor and Sam particularly impressed with fine, but differing personal skills.  Mozza S-S ran tirelessly and added his special wow factor up front.  Attractive, attacking hockey flowed; the ball often seeming to bounce around a pin ball machine.  As a result, RHC were 6-1 up at halftime.  Interestingly, this was without a single penalty corner being won; we used the ball, made the passes and the opposition were unable to get near us.

In the second half, despite periods of fast, balanced hockey, too many fine moves foundered on poor final passes or lost possession following selfish individual play.  What is for certain, running with the ball equals confusion.  That said, we won several penalty corners and did manage to convert two; not route one, though, but by the passing ball around.  Despite a final score of 9-1, RHC’s second half team discipline was somewhat disjointed.  A tight mutually supporting formation will be essential against future opponents.

In summary, a morale boosting victory.  Excellent performances from Mozza, back to his best after illness, and all our youngsters.  The challenge now is to harness this youthful exuberance.  What works against school or junior opponents does not always work against wily old defenders.  We are getting there and the team, young, old and ancient seem to be enjoying each other’s company.  If we can keep our team tight, personally focused and playing to the plan, we can start to beat the best, rather than just compete.

MoM:  Mozza (4 goals), not forgetting:  Sam (3) & Art (2).

DoD:  Ali (asking where we were playing, losing the hat, then finding it!)

Romsey maintained their 4th position spot in Hampshire division 3 after coming away with three goals and a defensive a clean sheet against Haslemere on Saturday. Romsey’s goals all came from open play, testament to an attacking and confident team. It could have been more but Romsey, which fielded five new players, were unable to capitalise on 6 short corners. Haslemere were strong in midfield but rarely troubled Romsey’s experienced defence and their handful of shots on goal were swiftly dealt with by Romsey’s on-form keeper.

Romsey under 16 girls third league match of the season was at Basingstoke on the 5th of November .

The weather was bright with a distinct chill in the air as the match started . Romsey made a solid start albeit without any fireworks .

Basingstoke were defending very well under sustained Romsey pressure but Romsey could not turn this pressure into goals . In fact Basingstoke’s tactic of the long ball counter attack from defence almost caught Romsey out on a couple of occasions  if it were not for strong tackling and awareness from Emily Wann and Antionia Luckhurst

As the half wore on the Romsey midfield started to dominate with Sarah Macleod and Clara Hackett playing well. Finally the deadlock was broken with a smart move down the right hand side by Ella Manger allowing Zoe Henderson to break into the D and pull a cross back for Bobs Cooper to rocket the ball into the back of the net !

It was not long before Romsey attacked again from the left hand side , Liz Field beat her opponent and sent a ball into the D which fell for Jess Whetren to finish smartly.

The half time score was 2-0 to Romsey but Basingstoke were not out of it , two attacks early in the second half brought a good stop from Romsey Keeper Alice Dyer and a second one that hit the post .

Coach Dave Miles rang the changes bringing Jess Grout on to bolster the midfield and Hannah Loran to help in attack . This seemed to work as Sarah Macleod and her midfield unit were starting to control the game and put a long diagonal ball through to Sophie Lawson , who had made a great run and got the ball with just the keeper to beat and she slotted the ball calmly into the corner of the net !

The opposition were now rattled , Romsey came again in quick succession scoring two goals, one from Bobs Cooper with another assist from Zoe Henderson and one for Zoe herself after a sparkler of a pass from Jess Whetren.

Romsey were in total control now , moving the ball nicely from defence with a good interception from Anna Roberts and lay off to Phoebe Moriarty-Palios who pushed the ball forward , Romsey were on the attack again .

 Basingstoke gave away a penalty with 10 minutes to go which gave Bobs Cooper her chance to secure another hatrick , she duly did and moments later grabbed her fourth of the game to make the final score a thoroughly deserved 7-0 to Romsey .

Player of the match went to Sarah Macleod after another strong midfield performance . Well done to all the girls , another great performance  keeping the winning start to the season going .

Result: 2-1 (loss)

 

It was a very youthful Bournemouth 4th XI who travelled to HCS for this Hampshire Division 4 clash – both sides looking to get their seasons back on track with a win, in what promised from the outset to be a very close encounter. A bold selection saw Captain Ali Nawn drop into a defensive role, with two deeper-lying central midfielders positioned to provide additional passing options from defence.

 

A buoyant Romsey opened in a very promising fashion – whilst overlooking the midfield in favour of a more direct approach, solid early passing lead to several good opportunities. Perhaps the most important of these saw Art Barcia break into the ‘D’; a quick one-two with Mozza on the edge of the ‘D’ creating Romsey’s first clear sight of goal. Art’s shot whistled just centimetres wide, but he’ll have been left rueing Mozza’s poor decision-making – had Mozza held the ball for a moment and then passed, Art would have been left staring at an open goal.

 

The rest of the half was characterised by typically frantic end-to-end exchanges, with two very solid defences greatly limiting good scoring opportunities. Whilst Nigel King (making his 33rd appearance for RHC2XI) made several excellent stops, it was Bournemouth who opened the scoring midway through the first half; a loose forward escaping the clutches of an otherwise resolute Romsey defence, and finishing a fine Bournemouth move with a far post tap-in. It was a moment that temporarily damaged Romsey’s confidence – and the second Bournemouth goal followed in similar fashion shortly afterwards. At 2-0 however, there was a strong sense that the score line didn’t reflect the balance of play. As though recalling their comeback from 2-0 down last week, Romsey pressed on to get back into the game. Several outstanding pieces of attacking play from Connor o’Dowda down the Romsey left went unrewarded. An Ali Nawn short corner strike whistled inches wide of the left-hand Bournemouth post. A clever little dinked ball from Mozza on the edge of the ‘D’ to Dave Miles almost created a one-on-one chance for the latter – finding excellent space with his runs from midfield. Just when the half looked lost, Dave Miles returned this favour with a ball to Mozza on the edge of the ‘D’, who turned and blasted it into the bottom left corner. 2-1 at half time… game on!

 

The second half saw an early shift in the balance of play, Bournemouth retaining possession well, and using it with purpose. When Romsey did take possession, there was an evident struggle to penetrate the Bournemouth defensive lines, and create opportunities for the forwards. Despite their chances, Bournemouth were unable to capitalise – credit to the outstanding efforts of Noah, Jamie, Ali and Rob Noble in defence, who, alongside Nigel in goal, looked extremely solid throughout. As the half progressed, Romsey maintained the work rate, and created several good opportunities. Most notable amongst these was a wonderful piece of counter-attacking play which saw a quick ball to Mozza immediately shunted into the path of an onrushing Art Barcia, who in turn took a single touch before firing into James Fraser (making his return to RHC2XI hockey), making a late run at the top of the ‘D’. Fraser struck the ball beautifully – but it flew against the angle of crossbar and post… outcries of frustration from the spectators, as the shot bounced across the face of goal, the keeper completely, hopelessly beaten, and out for a Bournemouth sideline ball.

 

And so the game finished – a very unlucky 2-1 defeat for Romsey. Despite the result, a very good game of hockey played in good spirit, with some excellent umpiring and very good points for an improving Romsey to take into next week.

 

MoM:  N/A – but the author would give it to Noah and Connor for frankly outstanding personal performances.

DoD:  Rob Kerr – went to Romsey School for the meet. At least he had his shirt this week though! 😉

Romsey U12 Girls were a little depleted in numbers as they faced New Forest at home this Sunday. However the U10s came to the rescue, with Harriet F and Zoe P moving up to help the team and playing their first game on a full size pitch. Both teams started well with Phoebe L and  Mia A playing well together in the midfield.  Forwards Olivia A and Isobel R were able to get into the New Forest D but could not get a decent shot as they were closed down quickly by the defence. New Forest countered with some well worked attacks into the Romsey D, but were held off by defenders Lily P and Annabel C with goalkeeper Anna L saving the team with some good clearances. At the end of the first period the sides were evenly matched at 0-0.

The second period saw New Forest produce some strong penetrating attacks which enabled them to score 3 goals in quick succession. Romsey found it difficult to clear the ball out from their half as the opposition challenged for every ball. The defence worked hard with Grace F and Hermione M tackling well but New Forest had several skillful forwards able to get past the defence and shoot on target.

In the final period of play Romsey were again under pressure and New Forest managed to score another goal early on. Romsey upped their game and defended like demons weathering a string of defensive short corners without conceding a goal. They also managed to counter attack with Eleanor B narrowly missing the goal with a lovely strike. The girls pushed hard trying to get a goal in the final minutes of the game but were unable to convert their chances and the game ended 4-0 to New Forest.

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