Scorers: Lincoln x2, McArdle, Simpson-Scott, Marsh, Knell

MOTM: Matchey Lincoln

This Saturday saw a triumphant Romsey side beat Fleet and Ewshot 6-0 to clinch the Hampshire Open Division 8 league title with two games still to play. The win saw the 3rd XI rise to 38 league points with their competitors unable to catch them.

In the first half Romsey lined up with one regular defender missing from their first choice defence (Luke Hammond). Therefore, regular winger Tom Knell stepped back alongside Mark McArdle, and Dan Newman to help protect Lukasz Suleja’s goal. The midfield consisted of holding player Jon Marsh and regular forward Ben Ellis stepping back into midfield after last week’s strong performance in that position at Lavant, with Matchey Lincoln in an attacking role. J Robinson and Rob Williams started on the wings with Martin Simpson-Scott and Nick Mason starting up front. Romsey dominated the early stages of play but were unable to make multiple shots on goal count.

Strikes from Simpson-Scott, Mason and Lincoln were confidently saved by Fleet’s wise keeper. Captain Matt Clark should have put the ball away early on in the first half when he went one on one with the Fleet keeper. But his attempted chip of the ball went straight into the keeper’s pad.

The first goal came just before the half time whistle through defender Mark McArdle deflecting Jon Marsh’s second shot on goal after the initial strike from Captain Clark was confidently saved during a well worked penalty corner routine.

After the halftime break Fleet grew more into the game and looked like equalizing early on, however Romsey doubled their lead when Simpson-Scott brilliantly brought the keeper away from his goal and, on his reverse stick, struck the ball into the top right of the goal from a tight angle. This goal helped Romsey’s confidence grow quickly and shortly afterwards Lincoln proved why he got the MOTM award by dancing around multiple players to get the foul in the circle to gain yet another penalty corner for Romsey. McArdle injected the ball to Captain Clark who picked out Marsh channelling his Alex Danson diving deflection, for the 3rd time of the season, to put Romsey 3-0 up.

By this point Fleet dropped their heads for a small point of the game allowing Romsey to capitalise again. Romsey burst through the Fleet back line with a well worked 3-man-weave between winger Ollie Bryant, Matchey Lincoln and Martin Simpson-Scott. Simpson-Scott slipped the ball through for Bryant to take the initial strike on goal. Yet again, Fleet’s keeper’s strong performance saw the initial strike cleared only for MOTM Lincoln to hit the ball nicely home making the score 4-0 to Romsey.

MOTM Lincoln wasn’t done there, though! Yet again he showed his skills off soon afterwards after receiving a through ball Nick Mason near midfield. Lincoln drove up field and beat 3 players on his own to strike the ball passed the advancing Fleet keeper and into the centre of the goal putting his team 5-0 up.

The final goal of the 6 came from “stand in defender” Tom Knell. Knell drove up the right hand side of the field after winning the ball from an attack on goal by Fleet. Knell worked one-two with Mason near half way then went it alone to the Fleet circle and blasted the ball into the goal to finish off the day’s score line.

It has been a great season so far for the Thirds, who continue their 100% home record and everyone who has contributed in some way to the team deserves huge congratulations.

Next week Romsey take on Yatley at home before the Easter break.

Scorer: Ben Ellis

MOTM: Jon Marsh

This weekend saw the first of two away game weekends in a row for the Thirds before the Christmas break in the 2015/16 season. Yet another blustery day was upon the Thirds but luckily the rain held off for the entire game. As the Captains and umpires met at the centre circle it was the home side who won the toss to take the pushback.

The first half began with a very even match of possession play from both teams. However, it was Romsey who produced the most attacking play of the game with opportunities from forwards Zak Cooper, Matchey Lincoln, Fergus Longman and even wingers Jim Ponsford, Ben Ellis and Captain Matt Clark confidently saved or just pushed wide.

Brilliant defensive play by Pete Cooper, Dan Newman, Mark McArdle, Blake Cookson and Jon Marsh, whose confidence earned him the MOTM award, ensured Fleet had no play inside the visitors circle in the first half. Romsey continued to look threatening on the ball and keeper Lukasz Suleja ensured he kept the scores at 0-0 going into half time.

Romsey’s half time team talk established the need to stick to a passing game ensuring they did not hold on to the ball too long and ensure strong passes were made away from danger. Romsey go the second half underway in a lively fashion with forward Nick Mason finding good space to play in Matchey Lincoln and Zak Cooper for strikes but were just seen wide.

Fleet’s strongest opportunity of the game came when a Romsey foot inside the circle gave them a penalty corner to try and take the lead. However, a confident Dan Newman saw the ball clear to Blake Cookson to counter attack Fleets empty half. Although the counter attack was strong Jim Ponsford was just unable to find the backboard.

With the game getting more intense it was Romsey who finally got goal they needed to get the upper hand in the game. After a through ball from MOTM Jon Marsh to Jim Ponsford, the winger was able to drive up the field to pick out Nick Mason. Mason then powerfully struck the ball across the top of the circle for winger Ben Ellis deflect the ball on the reverse stick at the top of the circle into the middle left of the goal just missing the Fleet keepers pads.

The late goal gave Romsey the strength and confidence they needed to control the remainder of the game to see close score line victory out.

Next week Romsey take on Tadley away for their last game before the Christmas break!

Result: 2-2

Scorers: Zak Cooper, Ben Ellis

MOTM: Ben Ellis

It was a game of two halves for Romsey’s Men 3rd XI who took on Lavant for their final home game before the Christmas break in the 2015/16 season.

The first half started with Lavant winning the coin toss to take the push back and from the word go had the upper hand. Romsey’s were caught cold with a large void between defense and the forwards allowing continuous through balls to challenge keeper Lukasz Suleja and Dan Newman, Mark McArdle and Pete Cooper, filing in for a missing Luke Hammond in the back line. Lavant were first on the scoreboard from a ball in open play to find their attacker in top of the circle to first time strike into the bottom corner.
After Romsey went 1-0 down things started to get worse for the home side. Positional issues and simple unheard of mistakes allowed further chances for Lavant to double the score line before the half time break. Romsey were glad to hear the half time whistle.

Romsey’s Captain Matt Clark decided to make some key lineup changes to give better opportunity for them to get back into the game. However, Lavant’s key 3 players punished Romsey yet again when another ball from open play behind defender Dan Newman caused the need for McArdle to support with Pete Cooper helping allowing Lavant’s striker on top circle once again get a first time strike into the bottom corner.

With only 10 minutes gone into the 2nd half gone Romsey still had ample time left to ensure to turn it around. And turn it around they did!! After the 2nd goal went in Romsey’s heads went back up were able to dominate the remainder of the game. Great play from attacking midfield Matchey Lincoln, Ferg Longman, and wingers J Robinson and Ollie Bryant played in attackers MOTM Ben Ellis, Nick Mason and Zak Cooper to play in triangles to get free at top circle. Zak Cooper didn’t let his team down and hit a beautiful strike into the bottom right.

Continued pressure by Romsey on Lavant’s goal continued when opportunities from Bryant and Cooper were just seen wide. But it was MOTM Ben Ellis who put his team on par with Lavant. A long corner taken by Jon Marsh was swept out to Ellis who played in Z. Cooper to dance around a couple of players to give Ellis the space he needed to fire into the bottom right corner of the goal bringing the score line to 2-2.

Romsey worked their socks off for the remainder of the game to continue masses of pressure but couldn’t find the net. After a very difficult first half Romsey were glad to walk away with a point going into the final two games before the Christmas break. However, Romsey need to learn from the critical errors to move forward into the season.

Score: 2-0

Scorers: P. Cooper, M. McArdle

MOTM: Nick Mason

This weekend took Romsey to the Isle of Wight on a cold, very wet and dismal day! Luckily a smooth ferry ride over and a quick bite to eat saw the Men 3rd XI get stuck straight into action as the umpire’s whistle got the game underway.

The first half began in heavy rain and wind from all directions, and although Isle of Wight pushed back it was Romsey who took the initiative at first. Excellent driving of space by attacking midfield Matchey Lincoln and forwards Zak Cooper and MOTM Nick Mason saw Romsey create several chances from early on in the game. Further strikes from Ben Ellis, taking the position of winger for today’s match, and up and coming winger Ollie Bryant were just kept clear by the dominating Isle of Wight keeper.

Romsey’s focus and determination in the pouring rain ensured it wouldn’t be long before the first goal would be found. Brilliant defensive play by the ever strong back three of Luke Hammond, Mark McArdle and Dan Newman kept strong possession to find Ellis on the left wing. Ellis then drove the ball up field in triangles with Pete Cooper and Zak Cooper to find MOTM Mason on top the circle. Mason drove the ball in strong to the circle with his initial strike finding a players’ foot to secure a penalty corner.
A quick injection from McArdle to top circle to Jon Marsh was then dummied to P. Cooper. Cooper didn’t disappoint and launched a missile into the bottom right hand corner leaving the keeper standing still.

Romsey’s half time team talk established the need to stick to a passing game, and the 3rd XI displayed great composure in the second half as they worked the ball around the opposition’s D in order to engineer more opportunities. The rain did not let up in the second half, and neither did the two teams. MOTM Nick Mason brought boundless energy to the game and helped create further opportunities for Zak Cooper, Matchey Lincoln, Ollie Bryant and Fergus Longman. With the energy and beautiful passing play, it was only a matter of time before Romsey would find the back of the goal again with another well worked penalty corner routine.

Injection from Mason was taken clear of danger in the circle by Marsh who found McArdle running in on the keeper to deflect the ball swiftly into the oppositions’ net to make the score 2-0. A few further breakthroughs were made by the IOW but were calmly held out by keeper Lukasz Suleja who did so well in such awful conditions.

The game ended 2-0 to Romsey and a quick dash to the docks allowed the team to dry off on the ferry, enjoy a coffee and ‘catch some waves’. – No seriously it was quite choppy on occasions!!

Next week Romsey take on Lavant at home.

Scorers: Ellis x3, Z. Cooper x2, Knell

MOTM: Tom Knell

This weekend brought Southampton otters to Romsey.

The first half was very even with both teams at attacking the d’s. The first half’s deadlock was broken with a breakaway goal for Ben Ellis who was composed in the D and spun around the keeper and slotted the ball through the defender who was standing on the line. The goal was set up by a through ball from Zak Cooper that split the defence.

The second half started with two fast goals in quick succession, the first came about with the second goal from Ben Ellis who hit the ball with great force that went like a bullet which went just under the keepers arm.The second was from Zak Cooper who collected the ball on the top of the D and struck the ball which sent it into the bottom left. After a while since the first goal and some solid defending from southampton but was broken with a run from Ben Ellis who beat several defenders and sent a ball across the D to TK who was waiting on the back post to slot the ball in to the bottom corner. The next goal came with much confusion over who actually scored it, the initial shot was blocked but not cleared and Ben took his chances and pounced on the ball and was followed by half of the Southampton onto there keeper and Ben managed to push the ball under the keeper which resulted in a goal. The final goal of the game came from Zak who stopped the ball at the top of the D from a poor clearance from Southampton, Zak took the shot which luckily found a Southampton stick which through the keeper off and fell into the bottom corner. This goal concluded Romsey goal fest against Southampton which gives them another 3 point to increase the lead at the top of the division.

Scorers: Ellis, Knell, Bryant x2

MOTM: Ollie Bryant

An October Saturday afternoon saw Romsey Men’s 3rd XI travelled to Yateley, for what turned out to be a mighty game.
The beginning few minutes of the game was a chance for both teams to assess the other with early attacks from both sides looking strong and damaging. Talking and passing were two good attributes Romsey used well for this spell of play and resulted in a very well worked goal from Ellis due to a driving run from Nick Mason. The slip pass came in the air for Ellis, and, what would surely have earnt a homerun in a baseball game, was a swing of the stick to slot home the first goal.

The second goal came from great Romsey passing and a very well-directed shot by Knell. The bullet strike sunk into the bottom corner making it 2-0. Now, with this advantage, Romsey held off Yateley, allowing them to attack the D significantly more. This meant that Yateley managed to score a goal, but after the two umpires conferred, one of whom being Matt Clark as he had an injury, decided the Yateley player’s foot hit the ball and not his stick. I will mention that the Yateley players did in fact own up to this, showing good sportsmanship. Ollie Bryant was then the next goal scorer as he calmly slotted home a great cross ball through the D. Romsey were at this point ‘buzzing’ as this goal came from great play and communication and was a goal for the debut player.

Half time was an opportunity for Romsey to re-establish themselves and not get dragged down to the opposition’s level of hockey. Communication on the pitch was another point raised as not enough was occurring. When the second half began, Romsey started strong once more, with the starting line-up in operation. A few minutes went by with attacks from Romsey looking strong. What happened next was unforeseeable. While stretching for a pass, Ellis took the ball to his ‘special place’ and let out a yelp of pain, which was completely understandable. This resulted in him subbing off pretty quick! Yateley’s new tactic consisted of drilling the ball into Romsey’s D which wasn’t going well until a short corner allowed them to score past helpless goalkeeper Suleja. This gave them a new found boost of confidence, which was quickly eliminated by Bryant for his second goal via a slip pass across the D by Knell. This helped him earn MOTM and well deservedly at that. All in all, this was a very successful day for Romsey men’s 3rd XI.

Scorers: Richard Lake, Ben Ellis, Jon Marsh

MOTM: Jon Marsh

A warm October afternoon saw the Romsey Men’s Thirds take on Bournemouth 6th XI at home, having both been promoted into Hampshire Division 8.

The first half saw Romsey line up with Adam Sankey in goal behind a back three of Luke Hammond, Mark McArdle and Blake Cookson. Matchey Lincoln started in attacking midfield, in front of holding players Pete Cooper and Man of the Match Jon Marsh. Captain Matt Clark and J Robinson occupied the wings as Nick Mason and Ben Ellis started in attack. Rolling subs were Tom ‘TK’ Knell, Richard Lake, and Zak Cooper. Romsey took the push back and were straight into top gear entering the opposition’s circle on multiple occasions with excellent work from the commanding Matchey Lincoln picking out Romsey’s attackers. Several chances were taken but Romsey could not find the back of the goal due to both good play by Bournemouth’s keeper and missing the goal slightly wide.

The half drew on with no signs of goals coming after a couple of penalty corner chances were not capitalised on by the home side. However, near the end of the first half the goal was to be found after forward Nick Mason received the ball from Lincoln after a dummy slip gave Mason space to enter the circle. The initial shot was saved by Bournemouth’s keeper to fall back to Lake for the rebound. The strike back was slightly topped to bounce between the young keeper’s legs and trickled into the goal putting the home side 1-0 up for the half time break.

The half time talk focused on the need to draw out the play and utilise winger’s space following on from the training sessions provided by head coach Dave Miles. Romsey kept the upper hand for nearly all of the half with keeper Sankey being quiet in goal in body but not in voice commanding the players to work their socks off!!

It wouldn’t be long before Romsey found the backboard again after a 16 push out from Mark McArdle was taken by himself to drive up to midfield. McArdle found Mason in attacking midfield who worked in beautiful triangles with Zak Cooper and Richard Lake. Cooper then slapped the ball into the circle to pick out Ben Ellis in front of the keeper. Ellis then rounded the keeper to tuck the ball nicely into the bottom right to put the score to 2-0.

Romsey’s final goal came later on into the half when Man of the Match Jon Marsh netted his first ever goal for the club after 5 years. The goal came following a long corner from Pete Cooper who slipped left to Marsh to drive into the circle and drill the ball into the bottom left putting the score line 3-0 to the home side.

Bournemouth went done yet though, with the final whistle only minutes away. The away side found space on the right hand side to drive into the d and take a strong shot on goal with keeper Sankey confidently holding the ball out for the final whistle.

Romsey have a weekend break next week with the rest of the new division. However, on their return they will be taking on Yateley in an away fixture.

Scorer: Richard Lake

MOTM: Lukasz Suleja

In a clash of biblical proportions, the Romsey Men’s 3rd XI travelled away for the first of many far afield games against the strong Gillingham 3s. Having met Gillingham in the pre-season friendly games resulting in a win and Gillingham coming from a loss in the previous’ week’s game against Tadley, the home team was looking to ‘nip this one in the bud’ and gain all 3 points.

The first half began frantically, with Romsey absorbing a wave of early constant pressure from an energetic Gillingham side before mounting key counter attacks. This set the pattern for the first half until Romsey grew more into the game, with the midfield working well with the forwards and wingers to maintain possession. However, Gillingham’s Goliath’s midfield pair were able gain countless reverse stick shots on target but were brilliantly saved by MOTM keeper Lukasz Suleja and off the line by defenders Luke Hammond, Blake Cookson, Mark McArdle and young newcomer Dan Newman. Gillingham’s closest chance of the first half came from a powerful drag flick on a penalty corner going into the top left of the goal. However, keeper Suleja jumped for his life and strongly kept the ball out of the net.

With the game at 0-0 on the break, the half time team talk was an opportunity for the 3rd XI to calm down and assess where things were going wrong. Starting the second half as quickly as the first, it was Romsey who got on top first by scoring the first goal of the match. Brilliant link up between winger J Robinson and forwards Zak Cooper and Richard Lake saw a final pass from Robinson to Lake to reverse stick shot the ball into the bottom left.

With Romsey taking the lead it looked like they could try and hold control of the game. However, barely minutes later Gillingham’s midfield duo were able to find an opening towards Romsey’s circle and a quick reverse stick shot was just unseen by keeper Suleja and he was able to get a foot to it making the score 1-1.

The rest of the quarter saw end to end play with both teams coming close to scoring. Romsey had opportunities put just wide from Fergus Longman, Nick Mason and one saved near the line from Captain Clark. The final attacking play came from Gillingham with Romsey standing strong with Vice-Captain Pete Cooper and midfielder Jon Marsh putting their necks on the line to stop further reverse stick shots being taking.

The game ended 1-1 with Captain Clark and Vice-Captain Cooper telling the team of how impressed they were by everyone’s work rate and dedication to the game. Every person on the pitch walked off the pitch with some form or scrape or scuff and point in a tough away game at this stage, or any stage of the season in a new league, is so valuable.

Next week Romsey take on Bournemouth at home, who gained promotion to Division 8 with Romsey from last season.

Score: 6-0

Scorers: J. Robinson x2, Z. Cooper x2, N. Mason, B. Ellis

MOTM: Chris Arnold

The opening game of the 2015/16 season saw the Romsey Men’s 3rd XI take on Winchester’s 6th XI at home. This is the first time the two clubs have met in the Hampshire Open League since their promotion into Division 8.

The first half began with glorious October sunshine, and Winchester taking push back and getting straight into gear creating opportunities from the off. Romsey came under pressure early on, with Mark McArdle and Pete Cooper ensuring Romsey’s defence held strong and giving keeper Lukasz Suleja room to stand on guard for Luke Hammond to run the ball out past the opposition utilising key midfielders Jon Marsh and Man of the Match Chris Arnold. Romsey kept their work rate high to hold possession with Arnold moving the play up the field along the right and left channels with wingers J Robinson and Captain Matt Clark. Opportunities came from the home side with strikes just going wide from forwards Richard Lake, Zak Cooper, Nick Mason and Ben Ellis. Winchester were able to hold strong with their experienced defence to ensure the game went into half time at 0-0.

Romsey’s half time team talk established the need to take more opportunities in the opposition’s circle and go in full throttle. With Romsey taking the push back, forwards Lake and Z. Cooper went straight in “all guns blazing” and worked beautifully with attacking midfielder Matchey Lincoln to scare Winchester in their D. But Romsey were able to catch Winchester half asleep 3 minutes into the 2nd half after a top d strike from Lake was strongly saved from the keeper only to fall to Robinson to chip over the Winchester keeper.

The opening goal spurred the home side on to find the backboard again only minutes later with Arnold spotting a wide gap in Winchester’s defence from Lincolns draw out play off the ball. Arnold strong sweep through was picked up by Z. Cooper to drive into the d from the left and hit cleanly into the bottom left.

At 2-0 up Winchester kept pushing against Romsey’s half with some excellent play from their young academy players. However, defender P. Cooper saw them off to drive up the field to find Z. Cooper just outside Winchester’s circle. Z. Cooper’s dummy hit fell through off Winchester for the ball to fall to Ellis gobble it right up and putting the home team 3-0 up.

Romsey kept their pace up to quickly find goal number four with Mason intercepted a pass from a 16 to pass to Ellis and drive into the circle. Ellis not being greedy slipped the ball under his shoulder back from Mason to hit a bullet into the top left.

It was soon Captain Clark’s turn for an attempt on goal after working with Lincoln to find space in Winchester’s circle. After a confused fumble with forward Lake Clark’s initial strike was quickly save to bounce back to Robinson again to yet again find the backboard to bring the score to 5-0 to the home side.

With the game nearing a close, Romsey took one last final push with the October heat wearing them down for Z. Cooper to dance around several players in Winchester’s circle, finding space and hitting a chipped reverse stick shot over the keeper and into the netting finishing the game 6-0 to the home team.

Next week the Men’s 3rd XI travel to Gillingham for their first of many tough away games of the new season and new league.

Romsey III 1-0 Aldershot and Farnham V

Romsey concluded their glorious campaign with a late win over Aldershot and Farnham which saw the Thirds maintain their 100% winning record at home. In recent weeks this Romsey side has stormed to victory in the league, winning 11 straight games to be crowned champions with three to go.

Men's 3rd XI League Champions!

Men’s 3rd XI League Champions!

The first half saw Romsey line up with Lukasz Suleja in goal behind a back three of Luke Hammond, Mark McArdle and Alex Halcoussis. Danny Nicoll started in midfield, in front of holding players Pete Cooper and Jon Marsh. Captain Matt Clark and J Robinson occupied the wings as Nick Mason and Ben Ellis started in attack. Rolling subs were Chris Harwood, Ben Manning, Fergus Longman, TK and Richard Lake. It was the visitors who made the brighter start as Romsey struggled to get a grip on the early stages of the game. By half time, however, the home side had won short corner after short corner and had numerous shots – but had not managed to score.

The second half saw Romsey dominate once more, with Danny Nicoll almost scoring what would have been one of the goals of the season as he chipped a stranded keeper only to see his looping effort just clear the bar. As time wore on the home side became increasingly desperate before Richard Lake, this season’s joint top goal scorer with Ben Ellis, found the bottom left of the goal with a straight strike from what felt like Romsey’s 100th short corner.

The celebrations that followed a difficult victory perfectly rounded off this magnificent season for the thirds.



Gallery Glimpse

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