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.

Fleet and Ewshott 0 –  3 Romsey

After their barnstorming 20-0 win at home to city of Portsmouth last week, Romsey men’s 2nd XI travelled to Aldershot Army Hockey Centre and the potential banana skin that is Fleet and Ewshot.

Fleet belied their lowly position languishing down in 8th in Snows Group Hampshire Divison 6, proving a tough nut to crack. The home side played a high pressure style which tipped over into foul lay once or twice. The home skipper had to be spoken to by both umpires by the end of the game, and can consider himself pretty lucky to escape a card.

Romsey opened their account half way through the first period when midfielder Jim East fired a pass through to forward Carl Hendy who picked the lifted ball deftly out of the air before feeding Sam Barcia who drew a smart save from the home keeper. Arch poacher Martin Simpson-Scott pounced on the loose ball and smashed home from the top of the D.

Martin Simpson-Scott with his eye on the prize!

Martin Simpson-Scott with his eye on the prize!

Skipper Stuart Robertson was finding it very difficult to move the ball away from the visitor D thanks to Fleet pressing very high up the pitch. Late in the first half Robertson found a passing lane  right through to Colin Harwood who touched the ball onto Barcia. Barcia fired a crash pass into the Fleet D and Simpson-Scott applied the killer touch to divert the ball beyond the keeper for a two goal lead at half time.

The third quarter was the home side’s best spell, as they forced a number of penalty corners but could not convert, thanks to some robust tackling from Dave Andrews. As the game wore on they found it harder and harder to sustain pressure, with man of the match East picking off more and more passes before releasing wings James Boggis who went close twice, and Jacob Arney on the counter attack.

Fleet’s best chance came with 15 minutes to go when a penetrating pass fell for the home forward to crash a shot against the Romsey bar. The loose ball was snaffled by Dave Andrews who belted it to safety.

The visitors got more of a grip on the match after this, and the result was put beyond doubt shortly before  full time when Simpson-Scott hassled the Fleet defence into an error, stole possession and drove into the d before neatly chipping the on rushing keeper to complete his hat trick.

Romsey go top on goal difference thanks to New Milton’s home win over Bournemouth, and Havant being unable to beat Winchester by the necessary 40 goals margin.

Weymouth 0 – 1 Romsey Mens 2nd XI
Romsey Mens 2nd XI returned from Weymouth with three precious away points to lift themselves to 2nd in Snows Group Hampshire div 6, ahead by a goal difference of +20 of Havant, and just four points behind leaders Bournemouth, who visit Romsey Community School next weekend.
Weymouth proved very tough opponents in a closely fought match in which Romsey had to overcome the elements as well as the home side; a fierce gale blew continuously toward the sea throughout.
Martin Simpson-Scott drew two fine saves from the home keeper in the early part of the match, and man of the match Mark Gilbert photo 2was able to feed a number of perceptive passes through for both Chris Arnold and Carl Hendy to break into the shooting circle, while in defence, Skipper Stuart Robertson and Ben Parker snuffed out the visitors ambitions. They did manage to create chances, drawing a memorable double save from Craig Mellor in the Romsey goal.
0-0 at half time.
After the break, Romsey were able to find Simpson-Scott with long balls, but often with too much to do to trouble the home defence. Dave Andrews pulled off a number of timely interceptions to frustrate Weymouth in wide areas, and Romsey were able to force a penalty corner, only for Jim East to shoot weakly at the keeper.
However, the visitors were able to break the deadlock from the next penalty corner, where a training ground variation found Carl Hendy with the space to shoot coolly past a wrong footed defence for what would turn out to be the decisive score. Weymouth contested the goal, claiming that it was struck outside the D, but the umpires were unmoved and the goal stood. Clearly aggrieved, the hosts resorted to some rough tactics, East in midfield receiving some close attention, but Romsey stepped up their game.
Romsey might have dropped two points late on when Mellor in the Romsey goal snuffed out a 2 v 1, and the visitors were able to grab all three.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 5 – 2 Bournemouth 5th XI

Romsey Mens 2nd XI travelled down to Dorset with the lead of Snows Hampshire Group Div 7 at stake. Romsey stood top by virtue of superior goal difference ahead of Bournemouth, with third placed Gillingham hot on the heels of both sides just two points behind

In spite of the shocking chapel gate pitch, both sides were able to construct some decent hockey, and the early passages were marked by sustained Romsey pressure, relieved by the occasional lighting fast counter attack from the home side, requiring keeper Callum Darch to make two outstanding saves.

Romsey were able to make their early pressure tell when the ever lively Josh Bishop clinically converted a one on one with the home keeper to put Romsey 1-0 ahead.

Strike partner Colin Harwood doubled the visitors’ advantage shortly afterwards, sneaking a shot from the most acute of angles in at the far post.JAE3

Romsey had had to abandon their usual expansive style since the truly awful surface rendered these tactics too risky, so instead were exchanging short passes and relying on the pace of Bishop and Greig Stewart in the midfield and Jack Murray on the flank to feed forwards Harwood and Carl Hendy close to the D.

The visitors’ constant pressure brought a third before half time when man of the match Bishop grabbed his second reacting quickest to jab home the loose ball after a melee developed in the Bournemouth goal mouth.

The home side cam back strongly after the break,constructing a neat move through the middle which caught Romsey napping, and brought the score back to 3-1. The respite was short lived as, almost immediately Romsey forced a penalty corner, from which veteran Jim East saw his goal bound drag flick deflected horribly in at the opposite post with the home keeper stranded.

Bournemouth were able to force a late consolation, although Romsey struck back at once when Jack Murray crossed for Harwood to tap in.

Romsey now stand alone at the top, Gillingham rising to second courtesy of their victory over Wimborne Wayfarers. A win away to Basingstoke would take Romsey considerably closer to their fourth promotion in their five year history.

RHC Christmas Game 2011

Snowmen 4 vs Reindeers 2

Christmas cheer was in the air on Saturday, as the men and women of Romsey Hockey Club got into the Christmas spirit with their annual fancy dress intra-club hockey match. This year saw the Snowmen take on the Reindeers.

Both teams took a while to get going. The Snowmen, whilst enjoying the frosty morning, struggled to play under the bulk of hats, scarf’s and carrot noses while the Reindeer’s were hampered with a variety of fur and antler problems in the windy conditions!

Eventually the deadlock was broken by the Reindeers, who were quick to break in numbers and infiltrate the Snowmen’s melting defenc before The Snowmen grabbed an equaliser just before half time.

The second half got under-way with the Snowmen attempting to confuse the Reindeers, with Snowman midfield duo Will Archibald and Joe Welch, launching several aerial balls deep into the Reindeer’s back line. One such ball provided Guy Taylor a tidy route to goal.

The Reindeer retaliated with some piercing attacks instigated and finished by James-One-Antler-Boggis while Amy Welch and Monty Roberts caused yet more havock at the back for the Snowmen, allowing the Reindeer’s to prance their way into the lead.

Further Snowmen goals came from Matt Clark, and Ella Palmer who both finished with finesse that was only bettered by their cartwheeling goal celebrations!

Penne Edwards, despite starting the day as the Snowman with the longest carrot nose, put aside her Frosty the Snowman hat, and umpired the game magnificently,

Costumes of the match go to Jane Wheeler, for her fabulous Reindeer costume, fluffy belly and shiny red nose. And on the Snowmans’s team, Ella Palmer lead the way with her snowman costume, delicately finished off by her button nose!

Christmas Game 2011

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 3 – 2 Trojans

Romsey Mens 2nd XI hung onto 3rd place in their division when, in spite of a late rally they were able to defeat Trojans 3-2. The early exchanges saw Trojans with good possession in the Romsey half, but without ever managing to create scoring opportunities. Having soaked up this pressure for the first 10 minutes, Romsey scored on what was theur first foray into the Trojans half. Josh Bishop supplied the pace before feeding Colin Harwood to shoot from the top of the D. Will Archibald collected the rebound after the keeper had saved well, before slotting home from an acute angle.

Back row : Dave, Boggis, Andrew, Audrey, Pete, Joe, Crofty, Chris, Dougal. Front row Jim, Col, Stu, Will, Lucas, Josh, Clarkie

Romsey’s second came soon afterwards when Dave Andrews fired a pass across the D and Colin Harwood played a neat dummy to leave Bishop to beat the cover defender and then dribble around the keeper.

Romsey third came when Jim East found the telling pass to release Will Archibald high in the D. Archibald rounded a defender and fired in hard from 6 yards out.

Romsey were unable to capitalise further on their dominance thanks to some brilliant goal keeping and a little bad luck. Joe Welch came agonisingly close when a shot a full stretch was deflected over the onrushing keeper and onto the left hand post. Archibald was twice denied his hattrick when first a dragflick from a short corner was charged down by the defence, and second when a viscious lifting shot was brilliantly saved high to the keeper’s left hand. Jim East might have doubled his tally for the season, only to see his snap shot from on one knee tipped wide half way up the right hand post.

Trojans came back strongly in the second half as Romsey became stretched and a little ragged. Two quick goals were all they could muster. Romsey created a number of further chances late in the game but neither side could finish, and the game finished 3-2 to Romsey

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 1 – 1 Tadley

Romsey mens 2nd XI chiselled out a hard earned point away to Tadley with a weakened side to maintain 3rd place in the table ahead of Trojans on goal difference after Trojans could not win, drawing 2-2 at Fareham.

Romsey started the match with a brand new back two of regular half-back Dave Andrews and inside forward Colin Harwood forming the last line of defence. Tyro Joe Welch took on the playmaker role at centre half, whilst Jim East took another turn in goal. Unsurprisingly, Romsey were disjointed in the early stages as players in unfamiliar positions felt their way into the game.

In the end Romsey scored with perhaps their second attack of the match. James Croft Baker found a wonderful pass 35 yards through to Pete Smith at the top of the D. Smith’s pass freed Matt Clarke to dance around the keeper and finish from close range.

Almost immediately Tadley drew level after a through ball was deflected to the right wing, who squared for a 1st time shot from close to the penalty spot.

Romsey had what would have been the winning goal ruled out. A misdirected penalty corner injection was controlled by Joe Welch, who carried the ball right before shooting powerfully across the keeper into the bottom left corner. Having initially awarded the goal, umpire Stuart Robertson, suffering from a shocking cold, accepted the word of the home umpire that the ball had not left the D, and so reversed his original decision.

Both sides searched for the winner as the game became stretched, but were unable to find an actual winner, and the game ended 1-1.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 2-6 Gillingham

Romsey Mens 2nd XI fell to their first defeat since Christmas, taking a side depleted by skiing holidays down to Dorset. Thanks to cheap satnav equipment, Romsey were forced to play the first half hour with only 9. Romsey however were able to neutralise a very strong Gillingham side who lacked the wit to exploit their numerical superiority. As the second half wore on, however, Romsey began to tire, and goals began to leak. Romsey had managed to stay in touch at 1-3, but conceded 2 in quick succession just before the break. A rest made all the difference, and Romsey turned around with renewed vigour. Gillingham scored early in the half, but were unable to make further inroads, and indeed Romsey dominated possession and created the lion’s share of the chances. With mounting frustration, Gillingham’s tackling became progressively more careless, and several Romsey players had to wear a Gillingham stick more than once. Since these infractions went unpunished and there was no particular reason for Gillingham to rein themselves in, the foul play intensified, culminating in two appalling fouls on Dave Andrews who required treatment on both occasions before being able to continue. Gillingham are yet a young side, so one can hope that experience will mature them. Romsey grabbed a richly deserved second goal late in the game when Dave Andrews was able to smash in a deflected penalty corner strike from man of the match Colin Harwood.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 4-0 Yateley 4th XI

Romsey mens 2nd XI lined up against a much stringer Yateley line up for the second part of the league double header. A much closer match saw Romsey run out desrved 4-0 winners.

Romsey suffered few scares in the opening stages, with stand in keeper Jim East called into action only once to kick a deflected shot wide for a long corner. Pete Cooper and man of the match Audrey Cookson defended with great skill all afternoon, denying Yateley anything but half chances from awkward angles. Peter Smith opened the scoring with a lovely lofted finish at the left hand post which flashed across the keeper and into the roof, after some excellent work from Jamie Botto in combination with Matt Clark.

Romsey doubled their advantage thanks to a thunderous strike from in form Chris Arnold, and then made it three when Andrew Archibald deftly redirected a Pete Cooper shot past the stranded keeper. Romsey rounded off the scoring after Colin Harwood burst powerfully into the D and slipped a pass under his arm to leave Matt Clark with a well taken 5 yarder. League leaders Gillingham are up next.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 9 – 0 Yateley 4th XI

Romsey mens seconds produced a consistently excellent display to sent Yateley home on the wrong end of a 9-0 defeat at Romsey Community School. Dave Butcher produced a now trademark thunderbolt in the early stages which, as tradition demands, hit the left hand post. Shortly afterwards he latched onto Colin Harwood’s neat pass to slap home from 3 yards. Converted goal keeper Pete Smith made it two, conjouring a bullet strike from the top of the D out of nowhere which left the Yateley keeper rooted to the spot. Chris Arnold, who produced an awesome performance turned provider, bursting past four defenders before slipping a ball through to Matt Clarke to wallop in at the left hand post. Arnold then added a brace of his own, shovelling in a neat flick after seeing his own short corner strike saved, then bundling in from close range when Yateley failed to clear a Butcher Cross. Arnold would finish the match a well deserved man of the match. Colin Harwood added the sixth, breaking into the D before rifling low across the keeper, before providing Matt Clarke with his second after a raking Andrew Archibald pass that was fully 50 metres. Josh Bishop added the final two goals, the first after exchangin what felt like a dozen passes with Harwood with the keeper all at sea, and the second with a skillful backhand flick from a Chris Arnold cross.

Having struggled to score more than 3 goals in a game, Romsey have now made it 13 in two games. They will seek to continue their good form in the return match next week.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 4 – 0 Hamble 3rd XI

Having conceeded a 0-1 defeat in the away match at Hamble before christmas, and lost key defender Dave Loescher into the bargain, it is fair to say that Romsey mens 2nd XI had something to prove on saturday. That they won, and cemented themselves into third place was less important than the resounding manner of the victory. Although Hamble attacked with pace, they were never able to to penetrate the Romsey D, and never able to sustain their attacks. Romsey by contrast might have doubled or even trebled their score with a little more composure in front of goal.

Chris Arnold opened the scoring after Matt Clarke and Colin Harwood conspired to intercept a Hamble free hit, and released Arnold on the right hand side of the D to thump past the Hamble keeper. Shortly after half time, Arnold doubled the advantage when he latch on to the rebound after man of the match Jim East saw his shot well saved by the excellent Hamble keeper. Moments later, Harwood burst into the D before feeding Matt Clarke to slap home on the left post to make it 3-0. The scoring was completed with the goal of the game. James Croft Baker, who had another great match at right half, broke infield and found a superb through ball to Joe Welch, who drew the Hamble defence before slipping the ball to Dave Butcher who crashed home from close range.
Mens 2 are enjoying a continued run of improving on their results in the first half of the season, having turned a 1-2 loss v Uni into a 1-1 draw, a 2-1 over Fareham into a 3-1 win, and now having reversed their 0-1 loss to win 4-0. Next up is the reaaranged match forming part of a Yateley double header, the results of which will contribute a good deal to their final league position.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI returned worthy winners in a tightly contested match at Henry Cort and at last scored more than 2 goals in a game (not including friendlies). Will Archibald opened the scoring for Romsey after some incisive work from Chris Arnold on the left wing left him unmarked at the far post to rifle a shot into the roof from close range. Late in the first half Romsey tired and allowed Fareham an equaliser. Turning round at 1 apiece, Romsey redoubled their efforts and drew ahead. From a short corner Chris Arnold beat both runners before squaring for skipper Stuart Robertson to slot home from close range, and thus remove from his back a particularly unwelcome monkey. Dave Butcher completed the scoring after some great combination work from Jamie Botto and man of the match Colin Harwood.

Romsey mens 2nd XI garnered an excellent point having come from behind to draw 1-1 against Southampton Uni. Both sides were determined to play attacking hockey, but neither side was able to force an opportunity in the early stages. Uni scored midway through the 1st half. Pete Smith in the Romsey goal saved the initial short corner strike, only for the rebound to be flicked low past him, although he was unsighted by the Romsey defence. The rest of the half saw Uni try to extend their advantage but could not thanks to some excellent composed defending.

The second half saw Romsey press for an equaliser and eventually it came. Dave Butcher chased a long pass to the left corner flag, held the ball up and then fed Colin Harwood who threaded the ball through to man of the match Jamie Botto deep in the D. Botto slipped a pass to Josh Bishop to hammer the ball low into the goal.

Both teams pressed for the winner after that, Romsey taking the Lion’s share of the chances. On another day Harwood might have had a hattrick, Chris Arnold hit the post from a ferocious short corner strike, and Stuart Robertson will never ever miss a chance in that manner as long as her lives.

In the end, and fantastic match ended with honours even.

Romsey 2nd XI 3 – 6 Isle of Wight 2nd XI

Mens 2 put up a solid performance against a team 3 divisions above to run out 3-6 losers in an enjoyable post xmas friendly. The game was well contested throughout, but IOW were able to latch onto a few defensive slips to turn round 0-3 ahead at half time. Romsey sharpened up in the second half with a much more energetic and precise display which produced 3 goals. Chris Arnold drew 2 defenders at a short corner before feeding Colin Harwood with a tap in. Colin Harwood and Chris Arnold conjoured some sweet passing to put Matt Clarke 1 on 1 with the keeper. Clarke shot at full stretch to see the ball hit the post, then the keeper before trickling in. Colin Harwood produced another incisive pass to Steve White wide in the D. White produced a sweetly timed strike off the wrong foot which rocketed past the befuddled keeper.

Many Thanks to the Isle of Wight lads for making the effort to get across to us.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 1 – 0 Camberliegh & Farnborough

Romsey managed to continue their winning ways with a much more comprehensive win than the 1-0 scoreline suggests over Camberleigh & Farnborough. Romsey created numerous chances throughout the match in which they dominated possession and attacked with pace and verve. At times Romsey were able to produce some rapier-like thrusts which the C&F defence simply could not keep up with.

The goal when it came almost snuck past unnoticed, such was the subtlety and trickery at work to conjour it as from naught. Captain Stuart Robertson self passed a long corner and embarked on a mesmerisingly skillful dribble taking him past the C&F defenders, sometimes several times, before bulleting a low shot which was saved at full stretch by the excellent keeper, but, prostrated as he was, unable to keep out the follow up from Jamie Botto, after some neat footwork.

Botto might have had 2 more goals but for some slightly wayward shooting, Chris Arnold went close with a first time strike after some fabulous build up play from Colin Harwood and Alex Halicoussis, and Joe Welch continued his excellent debut season with a number of attempts narrowly off target. Coupled with rock steady defensive work from James Croft Baker, Dave Andrews, Blake Cookson and man of the match James Boggis, Romsey were worthy winners on the day, with keeper Breet Cookson called upon only once to complete a neat clearance.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI ended up losing a keenly contested match 1-3 against a strong Gillinham side. The visitors opened the scoring against the run of play with a well struck Penalty corner strike which keeper Pete Smith got a foot to only to deflect into the roof of the net. Romsey enjoyed the bulk of possesion but could not force a goal and turned around 0-1 down.

Gillingham extended their lead in very fortunate fashion when a poorly struck shot from a tight angle was deflected in by an unsighted Pete Smith. Romsey grabbed a goal back when stuart Robertson poked in from inches when the Gillingham keeper failed to deal with Chris Arnolds bullet strike from a short corner. Romsey piled on the pressure and forced a number of short corners but could not convert. They were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal when the visitors extended the lead to 3-1 with a dubious short corner goal. It might have mattered more if Jim East had not wasted a Penalty flick, putting it tamely against the post. Jon Alty won the PF after some lightning forward play saw him scythed down by the Gillingham keeper.

Once again James Croft Baker was man of the match after an accomplished display in the half back line.

Trojans 5th XI 2 – 2 Romsey 2nd XI

Mens 2nd XI ended an excellent match at Stoneham lane 2-2 vs Trojans 5, having to come from behind twice. Romsey enjoyed the bulk of posession in the early moments but could not find a way to goal through a strong Trojans defence. Chris Arnold and guest Jason Alty combined well around the D to manufacture a number of chances, but found last week’s keeper Matt Colmer in inspired form, this time in the Trojans goal.

Eventually Trojans were able to get their noses in front with a rapid counter attack having soaked up much Romsey pressure and found Romsey short handed at the back. Romsey continued to penetrate the Trojans circle and eventually the pressure told when Jason Alty forced home for a deserved equaliser.

Almost immediately Trojans were back in front after a mix up in the Romsey D. the visitors deserved great credit for their never-say-die attitude, and in the end perseverance was its own reward. The ever improving Josh Bishop provided scorching pace and welcome directness to burst past the Trojans defence before laying on a great set up for Chris Arnold to tap in with a sort of contemptuous flick, to leave the home side protesting over an imagined obstruction earlier in the move. Umpire Amber Cunnington was unmoved, the goal stood, and Romsey has clawed their way back to parity.

Romsey might have forced what would have been a well earned winner late in the game, but once again Matt Colmer was to break Romsey hearts, this time to deny Will Archibald’s drag flick.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI were narrowly beaten by Uni 5s in a thrilling encounter at wide lane. Romsey enjoyed several spells of pressure and created a number of chances thanks notably to debutant Josh Bishop who was to be man of the match, but were foiled by some resolute defending. The students were able to exert some pressure of the their own, and opened the scoring after 15 minutes. Guest keeper made an excellent save from close range, and Uni reacted quickest to net the loose ball.

Undaunted, Romsey countinued to attack and leveled 10 minutes later. Having forced a penalty corner Romsey fluffed the routine, but were able to retain possession and feed Bishop on the left to smash past the keeper at the far post.

Romsey leaked what would prove to be the winner almost immediately. The students forced a short corner, the initial strike was well saved, and keeper cross reacted well to half stop the rebound, but could not prevent the ball trickling over the line with the defence unsighted.

In the second half Romsey produced their best hockey of the season attacking with pace and skill over and over again, with memorable performances from James Croft Baker and Bishop in particular, but were unable to force the ball home for what would have been a deserved equaliser. Romsey forced a penalty corner in the last minute, and despite a clever variation could only hit the outside of the upright.

Romsey lost a hard fought but scrappy match at Satchell Lane, and lost key defender Dave Loescher into the bargain with a fractured clavicle. Neither team was able to present any sort of threat despite enjoying long periods of possession each. Hamble lacked the skill or tactical nous to create any chances in the Romsey D, and Romsey could not attack with their usual fluidity and pace and found themselves confronted with a Hamble D packed with defenders. Worse, Romsey were not able to convert any of their many short corners. Dave Loescher saw a number of sweetly struck shots rocket narrowly wide, Chris Arnold was able to beat the runners at will but found the Hamble keeper in excellent form, and the rebounds seemed to unerringly find a blue shirt.

Hamble scored the decisive goal midway through the second half having forced a rare short corner. Brett Cookson saved the initial shot well but could not keep out the snap shot on the rebound. Romsey piled on the pressure in the closing stages wining many more short corners but were out of luck and time. Dave Loescher was injured late in the game after a collision with a Hamble midfielder as they both pursued a loose ball at pace.



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