M2 Match Reports

The men’s 2s went into their first league match after the seasonal break knowing that a win against Aldershot and Farnham would seem them leap from the opposition to go second in Hampshire Div 5.

Both teams started the game at a high tempo aware of the importance of the fixture. The enthusiasm of both teams rather overshadowed their skills as possession was handed backwards and forwards during the opening period. The home team were well marshalled at the back by man of the match and skipper Stuart Robertson who snuffed out numerous Aldershot attacks with some solid tackles and clinical interceptions. Romsey were unable to break the deadlock though and at half time the match remained goalless.

The second half began as frenetically as the first and it took until the mid point before the decisive blow was struck. Great work from Chris Harwood and James Croft-Baker saw the ball crossed firmly to midfield general Alistair Nawn who finished neatly from close range.

I the shock of going a goal down put the ‘Shots off and they quickly conceded a short corner. The injection was stopped well by Robertson and Christian Pain finished clinically with a powerful flick into the top left corner.

Romsey continued to dominate and soon put the game to bed when play maker Rob Kerr found space and finished an individual move with an excellent finish into the away teams onion bag.

Romsey continued to press and the extra space at the back gave Aldershot hope. Their endeavours were repelled by the imperious home defensive unit though who won back possession and fed the ball back up field. The score could easily have done Aldershot a disservice if Ben Manning and James Fraser had not squandered a couple of straightforward chances as the clock ran down. This was an almond impressive display from Romsey though and they will hope to push on a challenge for promotion.


Romsey Men’s 2s eased to 5-1 win against a grumpy Gosport 2nd XI. The home team started with a bare 11 but held firm during the opening exchanges. Young debutant Ben Davidson, who impressed throughout and Joe Powell, struck down with man flu, battled hard down the flanks and Gosport’s early threats were thwarted.
Ironically the opening goal came from a quick Gosport break just after the first of Romsey’s late arrivals, Christian Pain, made it onto the pitch. The visitor’s playmaker made a powerful run through the midfield and found a rapid colleague who beat the home defence and placed his shot neatly past Sankey in goal.
Dropping behind galvanised Romsey and they started to get their passing game going. Some smart work from Greig Stewart drew the foul and Tim Bailey converted the subsequent penalty corner with a low drag flick. 
Romsey continued to dominate the game, Chris Hardwood a constant threat down the wing and the defence marshalled by skipper Stuart Robertson held firm. Some neat exchanges and a killer ball from Jim East finding James Croft-Baker who subsequently passed to James Fraser in the D who dunked over the hapless Gosport keeper. 2-1 at half time.
On top Romsey were keen for a quick turn around and duly came out of the blocks fast. Another short corner was quickly won and this time Christian Pain found the top corner with a powerful flick. 
Romsey continued to attack and a quick one two from the 23 between Robertson and Pain was followed by a cross to Charlie Harrigan who scored from a tight angle. The scoring was completed with a carbon copy drag flick from Pain at another penalty corner.
Gosport continued to battle but were unable to make any serious inroads and in the end ran out of steam. Romsey stay in third in division 5, hoping for a more consistent second half of the season to try and make a serious promotion challenge.

Romsey were worthy winners against a team they usually have a much closer match with, and played good hockey throughout.
Romsey opened the scoring in the first ten minutes, midfielder Tim Bailey played in Rich Lake at centre forward, his shot was saved but Chris Harwood following in from right wing calmly swept in the rebound.
Havant pushed for an equaliser and Jim East and Dave Andrews were solid playing the ball at the back, with Jim Ponsford supporting the midfield, but it was Man of the Match Hugh Davidson who provided some telling tackles but also built moves down the left. His ball inside to Christian Pain saw a ball played in to Colin Harwood, as the keeper ran out Harwood Senior turned and pushed the ball towards the open goal only to see it cleared off the line.
Davidson then played in Ben Manning, he won a penalty corner and Christian Pain converted for 2-0.
The Pain played a long ball to Colin Harwood at the top of the circle, and this time the forward making his 100th Appearance was not to be denied and slammed his shot over the diving keeper for 3-0 T lead.
In the open minute of the second half Harwood Senior & Junior combined to set up Lake for a first time strike but it went narrowly wide, but soon after further Romsey pressure saw a Manning shot get saved by the keeper but Joe Powell was on hand to slide the ball over the line for 4-0.
Romsey made it five when a fine solo run from Pain, beating four defenders with close stick skill was rewarded with a strike from the top of the circle.
Romsey were now on top and with Bailey and Pain in control in the midfield Powell and Manning combined for a cross to come back to skipper Stuart Robertson who planted a 16 yard screamer in to the back of the net much to the pleasure of the crowd.
Adam Sankey was called on to make one save from a penalty corner but the defence was otherwise untested and in control in the second half.
With ten minutes to go there was still time for more goals, this time finally Lake got on the score sheet, first deflecting in a Pain shot and then from a Bailey cross he make no mistake with a first time shot on the run.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 3 – 3 Weymouth Mens 2nd XI
Romsey Mens 2nd XI twice came from behind to share the points against a determined Weymouth side. The Dorset side opened the scoring very much against the run of play when a misplaced pass deflected its way into the Romsey circle to leave Keeper Lukasz Suleja 1 on 1 with a Weymouth forward who was able to make a thin contact at full stretch to divert the ball past the on rushing keeper and agonisingly into the vacant goal.
It remained 0-1 to the visitors until some way into the second period, when Romsey’s relentless pressure eventually produced an equaliser. Chris Harwood, restored to his accustomed position not he right flank deftly played in Greig Stewart who thumped home first time. Central defender Matt Munro turned provider giving the scoring pass in a move he initiated in his own 23m line, he found Tim Bailey at the back post to tap in on the backhand to put the hosts 2-1 ahead.
James Fraser had a goal disallowed moments later on the spurious basis that he did not actually touch the ball on its way into the goal, and Munro was denied a goal for himself by the more conventional method of excellent goal keeping.
Weymouth forced themselves ahead in short order with two goals which were more or less identical – crash balls into the circle deflected past the keeper at close range – to leave Romsey 2-3 down with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Romsey had dominated possession for most of the match, and had seen 9 shot on target saved by the Weymouth net minder, but were finally able to convert when Fraser and Tim Bailey combined for Sam Barcia to drag the hosts level with moments to go, for a final score of 3-3.

Aldershot & Farnham 0 – 2 Romsey Mens 2nd XI
Romsey Mens 2nd XI opened their account in Hampshire Open league Div 5 with an away win based on clinical finishing at The Army Hockey Centre, Aldershot. Romsey were under pressure straight from the first push back, pinned in their own half by an effective home team ‘German Press’, but the reds were unable to convert their possession into something more tangible.
Almost as soon as Romsey sustained a bit of possession of their own they were able to force a near miss. Ali Nawn found Tyro Charlie Harrigan at the top of the Aldershot circle. Harrigan dropped his marker before turning to shoot sharply on the back hand, surprising the home keeper into a hurried half save. The loose ball dribbled agonisingly onto the goal line with the keeper unsighted, but was scrambled clear by the recovering defence.
The match continued even, with both sides able to sustain possession without really threatening, until James Boggis on the Romsey left picked out Matt Munro close to the ‘Shot circle. Munro cut into the D and flicked precisely past the keeper and high into the left side of the net. Romsey were able to keep out the home side thanks to an excellent save from Adam Sankey, stretching to meet an unsighted shot, and went into half time 1-0 ahead.
The second half saw Romsey dominate possession, attacking with good intent down both flanks. Harrigan was by now cousin chaos in the home circle and was unlucky not to add to his opener. Munro went close again, picking off a poorly directed Aldershot 16 yard hit, advancing into the circle and blasting narrowly wide.
Chris Harwood was the creative spark for the winning goal, using his pace to great effect cutting in from the Romsey right and into the circle before dropping a reverse pass to Ben Manning at the top of the circle, for the attacking midfielder to smash past the home keeper. Sankey was required again as the home side managed to force a series of penalty corners, and produced a memorable double save, first kicking then hitting clear.
Ali Nawn’s excellent match was very nearly crowned when Harrigan threaded a neat pass into the inside right channel for the tall defender to smash across the home keeper, only to see his effort strike the base of the post.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 3 – 1 Hamble 2nd XI
Romsey Mens 2nd XI began their 2015/16 campaign with a friendly against opposition from two divisions up. Romsey fielded something close to their strongest possible XI and this was just as well. The match started at a furious pace and continued throughout to be a keenly contested affair. Romsey opened the scoring, having gone close a number of times, only to be thwarted by a Hamble Keeper in memorable form, when a Matt Munro crash ball into the circle was met with a deft deflection by a flying Tim Bailey to leave the GK flat footed.
Romsey continued to press, sensing that a second might be decisive, but were undone by their own ambition when Hamble, breaking quickly exposed the out of position home defence. Adam Sankey in the Romsey net was unable to see off all three Hamble attackers, and the visitors levelled for 1-1 at the break.
The home side continued to dominate the second period, maintaining both their shape and their composure as their more illustrious visitors, perhaps expecting an easy ride, began to show signs of cracking, spending progressively more time arguing with the excellent match officials as the game wore on.
Romsey were able to summon a goal on the counter themselves when Greig Stewart fired a rangy pass to James Fraser, who picked out Bailey in front of the keeper. Bailey rounded the keeper to finish with a backhand flick. James Boggis completed the scoring when he materialised as if from thin air at the left hand post to smash into the roof of the net from short range.

Romsey finished fourth in Division 5 with a hard fought win over an Aldershot & Farnham who needed a victory and results to go there way elsewhere to avoid relegation.

Romsey only fielded a squad of twelve, so with only one sub the team had to really use the ball effectively.
Sam Barcia, James Fraser and started doing just that, Barcia played in Chris Arnold but he was unable to convert the chance.
Then James Croft-Baker played in Jacob Arney down the left he crossed, but again Romsey could not convert the chance.

With Romsey piling on the pressure they lost their discipline and were caught on the break, with the defence over loaded Aldershot played in their winger at the far post to put the visitors 1-0 ahead.

Romsey rallied immediately, with Jim Ponsford playing in Croft-Baker, he swung the ball across the pitch to Colin Harwood on the right, Harwood beat his man and moved down the wing, he saw Arnold stop at the top of the circle as Fraser and Arney moved in to it, and smashed a ball for Arnold to calmly shoot past the keeper for 1-1.

Romsey pushed for the lead, with James Manning playing some one twos from right back and Ian Wilson joined the attack, but if was 1-1 at HT.

In the second half Fraser took a blow to the ankle and went off for a few minutes, while keeper Adam Sankey pulled off a great save with his pads volleying the ball away with his stick, and centre back Dave Loescher was at his best coolly tackling on a number of occasions as he swept away Aldershot attacks.

Romsey finally took the lead when Fraser played in Arney who shot past the keeper to give Romsey the lead, then Arney hit a post, and Fraser repeated the feat off the other post.

The win was secured when Arney played in Harwood in the circle, he ran towards the keeper and then instead of shooting calmly squared to Carl Hendy to slot in the third
Romsey 2nd XI slim hopes of promotion were eliminated in a a first half in which they were second best to a skillful Gosport outfit who are the only team to do the double over them this season.

Romsey had an excellent opportunity to take the lead when Chris Arnold intercepted a Gosport clearance and ran towards the keeper, with his team mates willing for him to shoot he took it on too far and the keeper smothered the chance. Dave Andrews playing on the wing also created chances to open up Gosport but Romsey could not make the break through.

Then Gosport took over and created a number of chances of their own, which keeper Adam Sankey kept out, he was powerless though after 12 minutes when a Gosport player popped up at the far post to guide the ball home.  

Gosport doubled their lead through a penalty corner, and then intercepted a Romsey hit to play in their forward for a 3-0 HT lead.

Romsey woke up in the second half, and started to play some of their passing hockey. James Fraser and Sam Barcia linked up in the centre, and created a chance for Arnold, then Colin Harwood at right wing created some space for Jim East to combine with Jacob Arney who fired the ball in at the far post fro James Croft-Baker to pull a goal back.

Fraser, Harwood and East combined again for a shot on goal, which the keeper parried and Arney followed up for 3-2 with ten minutes to play.

Romsey were unfortunate not to equalise when Carl Hendy was played in by Harwood, but he couldn’t get his shot away.

Romsey needed another fine save from Sankey, flicking the ball away with his stick, but couldn’t find the third and so lost a game they had to win
Fordingbridge and Romsey played out an end to end goalless draw at Burgate School.  

Fordingbridge started the brighter, but Romsey with three subs aimed to use this advantage against the 12 man home squad.

Romsey looked to have taken the lead when captain Stuart Roberston fired in a penalty corner strike that rebounded to James Croft-Baker, but the initial shot had hit a Romsey foot on its way through and so the goal was disallowed.

Fordingbridge were reduced to ten men for three quarters of the match, but this seem to fire up the younger home side who nearly took the lead in the last minute of the first half from their own penalty corner, Romsey keeper and man of the match Adam Sankey pulled off a miracle save to push the ball out with a save doing the spilts.

In the second half Sankey again pulled off a fine save when he pushed away a first time effort from the Fordingbridge forward.

Romsey did mount some attacks in the second half, but tired legs were made to work harder as Romsey suffered three injuries and couldn’t make any further changes.

Chris Arnold looked to win it for Romsey but the Fordingbridge keeper pulled off a double save, summing up Romsey’s day.

Romsey have two matches to play this season, both at home, that they must win and hope other results go their way if they are to finish runners up and gain a third consecutive promotion.
Romsey secured their first win over Havant in four attempts and the win kept alive potential promotion in the Runners Up spot in Hampshire Division 5.

Romsey played some super passing hockey in the opening ten minutes, and Chris Arnold was unlucky not to open the scoring at the far post, but his feet came between his stick and the ball.

Chris Mason did put Romsey 1-0 up, after Arnold had missed another opportunity, the winger beat his man and smashed the ball past the keeper and in to the net with an unstoppable shot.

Romsey midfielder Sam Barcia then began to control the game, he played in Jacob Arney who shot wide, and then James Fraser who was tackled, Arney then played in Colin Harwood but his mistimed his shot and the ball hit his foot.

Romsey doubled their lead with a flowing move that saw Stuart Robertson play in Mason, he played the ball in the the circle and Harwood shot, it rebounded of the post to Carl Hendy who made no mistake reverse stick flicking the ball in for 2-0.

Dave Loescher, Ben Parker and Jim East remained fairly untroubled at the back, and Adam Sankey was a spectator for much of the first half allowing Ian Wilson to move forward.  He played in Barcia who played an exquisite pass to Harwood, allowing the front man to set up James Fraser for a strike on goal, which he took for 3-0.

Then with a penalty corner awarded, Harwood paced the circle and ran towards the goal, Barcia controlled the hit out and took a touch to slam the ball goal bound for Harwood to touch it past the defender on the line for 4-0 half time lead.

The second half saw Romsey lose some of their passing, and Havant put on some pressure to win several penalty corners, eventually pulling a goal back through a strike through the keeper, much to his annoyance.

This woke Romsey up and Fraser scored his second from the top of the circle, and then was again indebted to Harwood, who instead of shooting passed to Fraser for him to secure his hat trick and a 6-1 final score.



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