Men 2nd

Romsey travelled to Wide Lane looking to get the season back on track against a strong Southampton University 3s side.

The match started in typical frantic fashion. Romsey struggled to string passes together as the University side pressed high and put pressure on the ball. That pressure told early as Romsey lost the ball on the halfway line and the students surged forwards setting up an easy finish from the penalty spot.

Romsey tried to orchestrate an immediate comeback but despite some good breaks found it difficult to create any clean cut chances. Continuing to commit men forward, the travelling team were dispossessed on the opposition 25 in the dying minutes resulting in a 3 on 1 counter attack and another goal to take the score to 2-0 at the break.

Half time brought about a lively discussion and concluded with a Spencer Le Grande inspired change in approach.

A slightly deeper midfield gave more passing options for the defence and the more composed approach to developing attacks created immediate success. A well worked short corner took the scores to within one as Rob Noble rifled the ball across the D and Rob Kerr slotted home from close range.

Romsey continued to look in control for large parts of the second half and an inevitable equaliser came by way of Martin Simpson-Scott’s reverse stick with 15 minutes to play. It looked like that breakthrough could signal more and Romsey were favourites to win for the remainder of the match. A couple of half chances were batted away before a last minute string of University short corners set hearts racing but were soundly dismissed by the solid Romsey defence.

The 2-2 draw a fair result in the end. Both teams would feel they could have won it but a battling comeback gave promise for the upcoming games. A special mention

MOM: Rob Noble

DOD: Rob Kerr – always bring a match shirt

Despite last week’s 2-3 setback; a reasonably confident, but depleted RHC 2nd’s set off literally into

the eye of the storm – Storm Brian – to face US Portsmouth. However, bar a pre-match shower, it

was not to be the elements but the on field antics that proved tempestuous!

As expected, RHC’s defence were soon put under pressure by a speedy, feisty, well-drilled

opposition, who constantly probed and harried to get the ball. Mostly fairly, but always pushing the

limits. All decisions were verbally contested and RHC’s young team did well to remain composed.

Rob N and Jimmy P worked tirelessly to contain very lively forwards, ably supported by JCB and Hugh

Davidson. Many attacks were snuffed out and those that did get through found Nigel K back to his

best in goal. In midfield, Ali N and Greig S worked their socks off with Cam Le G and Ben D a constant

threat out wide. Unfortunately, RHC were always chasing, as such there was not much joy in the

final quarter. Neil S had to come back to get any ball; in effect, we were forced into a half-court

game – their choice, not ours! This constant pressure was always likely to tell and resulted in several

penalty corners against. RHC dealt well against good, varied routines, but one deflected shot found

its way through the RHC wall, via a defenders body. 1-0 down at half-time; all things considered not

a bad half.

Efforts remained positive in the second half, but an early penalty corner shot wide for a planned

deflection soon made it 2-0 down. Pressure started to tell and, as tempers started to fray, umpire

control started to degenerate. To be fair, the home umpire did issue three green cards and one

yellow to US P… but RHC also picked up two separate yellow cards. On reflection, all justified.

During this period of to and fro, both sides were awarded several penalty corners, more to US P than

RHC, but neither side could convert. RHC played the last 10 minutes one player short, home pressure

told and an overload led to a third goal against. Undeterred, RHC kept playing structured hockey, but

a last minute breakaway 3 v 1 on goal left the final score 4-0 down.

In summary, a difficult game and certainly one of our more demanding. However, there were several

fine personal performances. Both defence and midfield actually played quite well, our formation

worked and we have gelled as a team. Unfortunately, this time, we were just a little bit too

stretched. Both Noah and Bailey, playing in midfield, showed flashes of inspiration and are certainly

prospects for the future – well done both! We now face 5 very winnable league games. If we believe

and execute our routines as planned, we will do it.

MoM: Cam & Rob N (excellent performances)

DoD: Ali (over strenuously defending the cause; he likes the hat anyway)

Romsey 2nd XI welcomed a strong Swanage and Wareham team to HCS to defend our position at top of the table. Romsey fielded a strong line-up, but with a couple of regulars away, some positional rejigging was required.

The acclimatisation period was evident for the first 10 minutes as we figured things out. A few weak passes and some equally weak tackling allowed Swanage to counter repeatedly, although the back four of Rob, Noah, Jamie and Ben did manage to keep them at bay, with the experienced Nigel making his usually selection of spritely saves. Eventually we settled down and started playing some good hockey. Pass speed went up and we made some good counter breaks down both wings through Cameron and Ben Davidson, with Ali and Christian both finding the wide men regularly.

The breakthrough eventually came from some good interpassing between Mozza, Art and fellow forwards in the Swanage D, with Ali managing to get on the end of one for a “lanky reverse stick wobble” shot into the back of the goal.

Swanage however, quickly clawed on back with some good passing to find a lone forward who managed to slot away an opportunistic reverse stick shot. 1-1 at half time.

The second half saw Romsey continue to play some good fast hockey. Swanage, obviously tiring from a frantic first 35 mins, opted to sit deeper in their own half after the whistle. This allowed us to build our attacks more constructively and penetrate their D on regular occasions. Cameron particularly effective on the left wing, until a cynical Swanage shoulder rendered him unable to walk on a dodgy ankle.

Romsey bagged their second goal after an Ali Nawn short-corner piledriver drilled a Swanage defender on the foot infront of goal. P-flick awarded, Ali to step up and slot away. 2-1.

The lead was short lived though, when Swanage countered quickly, making their way down field for yet another reverse stick shot into the back of the net. 2-2.

Romsey then really started taking the game to Swanage to claw back the lead. Some fantastic one-two passing upfront leading to some good chances often shying just wide of the mark. The rare chance Swanage did manage to get into our D, they won a short, and a rather effective drag flick into the top left gave them the lead. 3-2.

With time running out, Romsey piled the pressure on Swanage for the remainder of the game with frantic play upfront trying to find that last goal. Unfortunately, time ran out before we were able to get a successful shot in.

Overall, a really good performance from the 2nd XI in terms of quality hockey and shear effort. The scoreline was not really a fair reflection of the game, but Swanage proved to be a more physical and experienced side than we have faced so far this year. Onwards and upwards.

DoD: Nigel King – ‘dropping the mic’ in the team Whatsapp group chat

MoM: team as whole from good all round performance

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.

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.

Hog Roast and Awards Evening

When: Friday 9th June 2017 – 7pm ’til late
Where: Crossfield Hall, Romsey

Arrive from 7pm.

Bring you own …

All tickets must be purchase prior to the event.

Invite open to all families and parents.

£25 per ticket

Purchase tickets via online banking for free raffle ticket – please use reference “your_surname 2017EOS”

Here are some key dates of upcoming events:

  • Sunday 30th April – Junior Awards
  • Monday 1st May – U16 Hampshire Cup Final @ Fleet and Ewshot
  • Sunday 14th May- Romsey Relay
  • Saturday 20th May – Hockey Fun Day
  • Friday 9th June – End of Season Hockey Awards
  • Monday 12th June – AGM
  • Summer – Ladies’, Men’s and Mixed Summer League

Details to follow.

In the first run out after the Christmas break, Romsey HC 2’s were keen to put the miserable end to the previous year behind them. Losing in back to back games against Title Rivals Hamble and lowly Bournemouth had put Romsey on the brink of being pushed out the race to Hants Div 3.
Emotions were high, adrenaline was higher and Romsey started the match at an unprecedented tempo immediately putting League leaders Haslemere on the back foot.
Within 10 minutes the wave after wave of slick passing movement between the Romsey front 3 and the pacey wingers Romsey got their first short corner. A simple quick push out to the top of D on the impeccable Romsey pitch gave Ali Nawn a chance to let loose a powerful strike under the foot of the flailing Haslemere keeper, 1 nill to RHC.
Romsey looked dominant in possesion and strong at the back proving a strong opposition for Haslemere until a rare attack saw Haslemere cut back from the byline, causing the pass to glance off a Romsey foot in the D and setting up the Haslemere forward to shoot low and sure into the bottom left of the goal. 1-1.
The second half started with a fast tempo and both teams felt they could snatch the crucial 3 points with end to end attacking pleasing the now substantial spectator numbers. A rejuvenated Haslemere looked the most dangerous and Romsey seemed to be hanging on for the first time in the game, with the two pacey Haslemere forwards causing havoc attacking the Romsey goal at speed making Veteran Goalie ‘Safe hands Nige’ to pull off some classy saves, somehow keeping Romsey in it, as well as securing him MOM in the process.
Sadly even these heroics had to come to an end eventually and Haslemere completed a slick 1, 2 move at the top of the Romsey D that some say resembled “a hot knife through butter” with Haslemere scoring and going 2-1 up with 15 to go.
Romsey never really looked like getting back in the game after that and with committing more and more men forward in a valiant effort to equalise got got at the back once again and Haslemere scored again to make it 3-1.
The game ended as such and a battered and bruised Romsey left the arena knowing that not only that this result may well have ended their chance of promotion this season, but also that they have some serious thinking to do before the next fixture against Yately.

Promotion to Hants Div 4 has proved to be a challenge that has been more than met by the 2nd’s unique blend of youth, good journeymen, mature ex-stars and the downright ancient! However, inconsistency and, at times, a lack of understanding and focus, as to just what is our team strategy, have led to mixed results. Strong victories against Haslemere 3rd (6-4), Yateley 3rd (6-0), Soton University 3rd (3-0), Fareham 6th (3-0) and Swanage & Wareham 1st (7-1) plus creditable draws against Havant 4th (2-2) and Fleet & Ewshot 1st (2-2) were somewhat let down by dour draws against US Portsmouth 1st (2-2) and, disappointingly, Aldershot & Farnham 3rd (3-3) plus defeats against Hamble 2nd (1-2) and Bournemouth 4th (0-2). In defeat, our performance at Hamble was excellent, reflecting a keen team ethic, even if heads dropped following a few strange umpiring decisions. However, our efforts against Bournemouth left much to be desired; too much route one and not enough patient build-up. At the mid-point, we find ourselves 4th, some 6 points behind the leaders, Haslemere. Yet, we could so easily have gained those 6 points and who knows what? Frustrating for all, but a good lesson, which might yet reinvigorate the brain cells?! 

Player strengths and a need to control midfield have led to us having to play a midfield heavy formation. Basically, 1 or 2 forwards, 4 or 5 in midfield and a reasonably conventional 4 man defence. Width is provided by the wide midfield players and, providing we move up and down at the pace of our 2 or 3 central midfield players, we have been able to control significant periods in most games; goals and penalty corners have flowed. However, if personal discipline drops, possession becomes harder to maintain and we seem to revert to the long hopeful pass. All that this guarantees is lost possession and tired legs, as we have discovered to our cost. Our defence, in the main, has been well marshalled with few obvious mistakes; we currently have the best defensive record in the league.    


Availability has been reasonably consistent, but injuries and diary bookings have knocked us on occasion. Squad members are listed below.


Attack: Martin Simpson-Scott, Matchey Lincoln, James Fraser, Christian Pain, Ali Nawn, Joe Powell, Cameron Le Grande, Chris Harwood, Greig Stewart.  


Defence: Hugh Davidson, Ben Davidson, Jimmy Ponsford, Rob Noble, James Croft-Baker, Morgan Robertson, Nigel King (GK).  


Plus: Jonathan Cuff, Connor O’Dowda, Jon Marsh, Simon Morford, Jim East.


In summary, a good start to a new, stronger league. All players have played their part with many moments of magic from the very youngest all the way through to most ancient; as evidenced by the numerous different men of the match! Looking ahead, team work is everything and we can produce more. Despite the diverse mix, we all seem to thrive off each other and there is a nice buzz around the team. If we can further stir up the collective gel and keep the ball, we can really do things. Only time will tell?! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Anon.  







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