Romsey gained some revenge from their heavy defeat at home on what was only their second game of the season back in October, to all but halt Bournemouth’s plan to grab the runners up spot in the league, and so it appears this was a third versus fourth fixture.
Romsey started brightly against a Bournemouth side who had won all their previous seven home games bar one. Some early interchanges between James Tower and Steve White down the right played in Chris Harwood to cross, while Matchey Lincoln missed his shot Colin Harwood’s attempt was smothered by the keeper.
Colin Harwood was then played in by Chris Harwood to set up Carl Hendy, but the whistle blew for a somewhat harsh lifted ball. Hendy then played in Colin Harwood who saw his goal bound shot turned away by the in form keeper.
Then Romsey it was Romsey’s turn to absorb pressure, Dave Loescher twice cleared, and Will Richards played a blinder a left back, supported by Man of the Match Tower, who smashed the ball high in to his own goal from a wide Bournemouth cross, to avert danger with a corner.
Soon after Bournemouth took the lead, with a great move by their centre forward who shot high in to the corner of the goal from the top of the circle.

With Bryn Wathen then being called on to make two good saves, and Duncan Sanders getting two tight tackles in it looked like Romsey would fall further behind. However, a quick break saw Dave Andrews play the ball to Colin Harwood, he beat his man and played a perfectly weighted ball to Chris Harwood inside the circle, as defender and keeper ran out to close him down, Harwood played the ball square for debutant Matchey Lincoln to equalise just before half time.
In the second half, Romsey again started on top. Rob Cav & James Tower combined down the right for Chris Harwood to win a hit just outside the circle. He ran the ball back out of the 23 yard line, and played it to Andrews who played it to Hendy, who shot past the keeper to give Romsey the lead.
The lead was extended when a penalty corner was played out by Colin Harwood to Matchey Lincoln, and the younger forward lifted the ball in to corner of the goal with a great drag flick for 3-1.
With Bournemouth desperate to get some points, Romsey had to undertake a rear guard action for the remainder of the match, and Bournemouth had a number of chances to close the arrears.
The first they did from an interception, Wathen having no chance, and then after clearances off the line by Cav, Loescher, and brilliant Will Richards cut out, and Tower in a frenetic 15 minute period, eventually Bournemouth made it 3-3, but Romsey held out for a point and Bournemouth trudged off disappointed they had drop points at home for only the second time in the season.

Romsey ran out winners in a game they dominated, but made it far from easy as they didn’t make the most of their chances to make for an exciting finish.
These teams shared a 3-3 draw earlier in the season, so it was going to be a close game, but Romsey made the most of the opening exchanges, although they couldn’t get a breakthrough.
It was Man of the match Hal Cross, playing in only his second game outfield who showed Romsey how it should be done. He intercepted the ball from the last two Aldershot defenders and created a clear run towards the keeper, as he squared up to the goalkeeper with the ball he made no mistake firing Romsey 1-0 up with his solo effort.
Aldershot had their chances, two long balls found their centre forward free, a great save from Bryn Wathen kept one out and great tacking by Dave Loescher preserved the Romsey goal.
With Aldershot then winning a number of penalty corners, Romsey had to rely on Duncan Sanders to clear two chances and then calmly play the ball out to Ben Parker to relieve pressure.
As Romsey built again, it was a great move from Dave Andrews who played in Felix Chapman-Sheath tha cut open Aldershot just before half time. Felix beat his man, but played a superbly weighted ball to Josh Harwood who cut in to the circle to pass square to Carl Hendy who got a great touch at the near post for 2-0.
Hendy then had a shot saved high up by the keepers hand, and Steve White had a shot from the edge of the circle that was blocked, but the half ended 2-0.
Romsey made so good openings in the second half, Hendy was played in by Colin Harwood but he put his shot wide, and then when he was played in by Hal Cross he carried the ball towards the goal before seeing it roll wide again. Harwood had the ball in the net, but it was blown for a penalty corner, from which Rob Cav, saw his shot saved at the near post by the keeper.
Then with Romsey regretting not adding to their lead, Aldershot broke and were awarded a penalty stroke when a Romsey foot and a Romsey stick tackled compounded the situation. Aldershot made no mistake, Wathen wrong footed and it was 2-1.
As Romsey had to lift their game, Dave Andrews and Josh Harwood created a solid wall in front of Sanders and Loescher and played the ball out through James Tower. He found Colin Harwood on the half way line, and after a great shout for a pass from Hal Cross, played the ball through the Aldershot defence for the young striker to run on to, just like in the first half he clamly took the ball towards the keeper before slotting it past him for a 3-1 victory.
The win lifted Romsey to forth in the table, which looks like it will be their final position with one game to play.

This was a point won for Romsey, as Lavant pushed to avenge the defeat they suffered at Romsey before Christmas.They pressed Romsey in the first 15 minutes and it was stout defending by centre back Ben Parker and Duncan Sanders who kept them away from clean shot opportunities. Two vital clearances by James Tower and Will Richards meant that Bryn Wathen only had to make one real save in the opening exchanges.

Romsey rallied and Carl Hendy was played in by Hal Cross, the experienced strikers shot lacked its usual power and The Lavant keeper made a comfortable save.

Buoyed by this chance, Romsey swapped a few players positions and started to be more offensive. Dave Andrews and Colin Harwood combined with a number of swift short passes to play in Steve White but he couldn’t get a shot away, then Hal Cross had a chance but his shot went wide. 

Romsey won three penalty corners and from the the third Jamie Sanderson stoped the ball and played it to his right for across to fire a shot just wide.

The second half saw more early Lavant pressure, and a move by Lavant saw the ball cut square to the striker two yards out, only for Wathen to make a great reaction save.

Then Tower and Rob Cav combined down the Romsey right to relieve some pressure and played in Hendy who was tackled.

Romsey had a half chance when Harwood was played in by Richards down the right and his cross just eluded White at the far post.

With two minutes to go Sanderson had to go off, taking a painful ball on the toe.

Lavant pushed up In search of the winner, and the ball looked like it may go off the back line for Romsey hit out, but under pressure Wathen conceded a long corner. This last chance saw Lavant drive into the circle and appeared to have scored the only goal of the game from a super shot, only for Wathen to make an amazing one handed stick save and Romsey cleared their lines as the final whistle blew.

Romsey gained another turn around victory following their defeat away earlier in the season, this team emphatically coming out on top and moving up the league table to 5th place.
Romsey started brightly and youngsters Josh Harwood, Jamie Sanderson and Felix Chapman-Sheath used their pace to move the ball around the experienced ‘Stoke back line.  They won a penalty corner early on but Carl Hendy’s shot went wide.
As the half went on it was building moves solidly from the back and keeping ‘Stoke penned in their own half and under pressure that was the key. James Tower and Duncan Sanders combined to set up Simon Mayes to drive in to circle and he interchanged with Phil Humphreys to win another penalty corner.
This time the ball was played out and Mayes beat two players before feigning to pass, and instead lifting the ball in to the goal to put Romsey 1-0 up.
As half time approached Dave Loescher had to clear up a couple of Basingstoke break aways, but Bryn Wathen was untroubled in the Romsey goal.  Then in the 35th minute, Mayes broke in to the circle and drove alone the end of the pitch to pull the ball back to Hendy who made no mistake for 2-0.
The second half started with Romsey on the attack, and early on Colin Harwood intercepted an attempted clearance down the right, he played the ball to the top of the circle, and Rob Cavalier found himself with the ball and able to get a fierce strike away for 3-0 and his first goal for the Club.
Not to be out done, Harwood then played a similar ball to the top of the circle for Felix Chapman-Sheath to lift the ball first time past the keeper and high in to the net for 4-0.
The play continued, and this time a Harwood shot was stopped on the goal line, as the ball bounced up off Humphreys stick and the goalkeeper, the Romsey midfielder made no mistake smashing the ball down in to the goal from its lofted position.
Basingstoke did pull a goal back, when a well worked moved from an interception caught Romsey short at the back, and Loescher and Wathen and Ben Parker couldn’t keep the ball out as ‘Stoke made it 5-1.
But Romsey were not finished and Humphreys bagged his second from a similar distance to his first, this time after good play from Jamie Sanderson to get the ball deep in to the circle, and Humphreys pushed the ball, this time on the ground, over the line and it was 6-1.
Then with Dave Loescher pushing up as the game drew to an end he played in Colin Harwood in the left hand corner of the pitch, Harwood lifted the ball over the defenders stick and drove towards the circle, as two defenders and the keeper closed him down he passed to Josh Harwood at the top of the circle to play the ball first time in to goal for 7-1.

League leaders Alton did the double over the Abbey side, who with no substitutes on the day pushed the home side all the way.
Romsey set up to absorb some of the Alton attacks early on, and the revised back three of Dave Loescher, Steven White and Jamie Sanderson, were able to make the necessary tackles to keep Alton out of the circle.
Sanderson started to be the outlet down the left, and his combination play with Felix Chapman-Sheath allowed Romsey an attack of their own, which ended Chapman-Sheaths cross evading Carl Hendy and Josh Harwood as it went across the circle.
Romsey were soon on the back foot again, this time Bryn Wathen in goal was called to make two saves, and Dave Andrews three clean tackles in succession to keep Alton from going ahead.
Colin Harwood intercepted two crosses, as he played deeper in the first half, but had to concede a penalty corner from one of them. This however was dealt with on the line by Loescher who smashed the high goal bound shot clear, only for the whistle to go for a high hit.
With the seconds counting down until half time, Alton won another fortunate penalty corner. The Alton player appearing to back in to Loescher and fall to the ground. As the half time whistle blew Alton crowded the circle, but Romsey managed the clear the initial shot only for it to be kept in play just outside the circle and the resulting pass found an Alton player who put them 1-0 up with the last hit of the half.
Romsey were down, but not out, and in the second half it was Chris Harwood playing centre midfield who created space for Romsey to attack more frequently. He ran at the Alton defence and on one occassion couldn’t pick out Hendy, and on another his ball to Colin Harwood was met with an Alton foot.
Man of the Match White, playing right back, then produced two pin point aerial passes, Chris Harwood collected one and interchanged with Dave Andrews and Colin Harwood collected the other to play in Hendy, but Romsey couldn’t get the vital killer last pass.
Almost against the run of play, Alton got a breakaway, and with Romsey outnumbered, squeezed the ball past Wathen despite last ditch efforts from Andrews and Loescher.
Romsey still pushed for a goal, and were unlucky when Colin Harwood, played in Chris Harwood to run down the right wing to cross to Hendy, only for the Alton keeper to smother his shot.
Then Romsey won a penalty corner, Colin Harwood played the ball to Rob Cavalier, who played it back to Harwood to smash the ball home, only for Cav to have stopped the ball just inside an not outside the circle, so the goal was disallowed.
From an Alton penalty corner, they made no mistake, and put themselves 3-0 ahead. Romseys heads remained high, and Colin Harwood poked in for 3-1 from a Chris Harwood pass, and then was inches wide from a late penalty corner that could have led to a frantic finale, but it wasn’t to be.

Romsey travelled to local rivals Southampton, a side unbeaten this season at home. Prior to push back, Southampton had a superior goal difference to their opponents, with Romsey on -36, whilst mid table Southampton were comfortable on +4

Given recent performances, Romsey were high in spirits, and from the start applied heavy pressure on the defensive line. The Abbey men were confident in possession, and organised off the ball, and on numerous occasions found themselves looking to penetrate the ‘D’, but ultimately lacked the killer instinct required. Danny Miles twice went close from tight angles, along with Ben Mullan who hit the side board after the Southampton ‘keeper closed the angle. Following the flow of play, it was the away side who took the lead. Tom Ponsford was released down the right flank, and drove towards the ‘D’ before crossing for Jack Forrest-Charde, to effortless deflect the ball into the top corner, after beating his marker with a yard of pace.

Southampton immediately replied and levelled the game with a deflection of their own. The forward found space in front of Lozz Scott, before redirecting a long pass across the goal. The remainder of the half played out in a competitive and fiery nature, the umpires kept their cards in their pockets and officiated well. With a number of clumsy challenges viewed as just that, the game retained its tempo and quality, before the half time whistle came and the heavens opened.

Southampton were creating chances, with 3 miscued penalty corners and a 2 routine saves from Scott. Their pressure eventually payed dividends. A wayward Southampton strike was redirected goal wards by a Romsey defender, catching Scott off-guard, finding its way onto the backboard. However, just as they looked to be taking control of the game, Southampton were reduced to 10 men, initially only for 2 minutes, but the blue’s midfielder argued himself into a 5 minute sinbin, and Romsey took full advantage. Zak Cooper’s tireless work on the wing, resulted in a short corner. Man of the match Danny Miles stepped up to fire in high to the left, with a drag flick potentially heading wide of the post. Unfortunately we will never truly know, as a Southampton defender deflected the strike past his ‘keeper. Southampton maintained their offensive style, and even with 10 man, came within inches of taking the lead, as a strike hit the backboard, but was deemed to have been hit outside the ‘D’ by the officials.

With 5 minutes remaining, Miles had a further 2 chances to grab a late winner. The first of which narrowly missing the top corner, and the latter was parried by the Southampton ‘keeper into the path of Zak Cooper, who produced a calm finish to beat the ‘keeper, and give Romsey a real fighting chance of survival.

4 games remain, next week against promotion long shots Andover. Following this, 3 vital fixtures against the 3 other teams a foot the Hampshire/Surrey league. An interesting month ahead.

Romsey gained another turn around victory following their defeat away earlier in the season, this team emphatically coming out on top and moving up the league table to 5th place.
Romsey started brightly and youngsters Josh Harwood, Jamie Sanderson and Felix Chapman-Sheath used their pace to move the ball around the experienced ‘Stoke back line. They won a penalty corner early on but Carl Hendy’s shot went wide.
As the half went on it was building moves solidly from the back and keeping ‘Stoke penned in their own half and under pressure that was the key. James Tower and Duncan Sanders combined to set up Simon Mayes to drive in to circle and he interchanged with Phil Humphreys to win another penalty corner.

This time the ball was played out and Mayes beat two players before feigning to pass, and instead lifting the ball in to the goal to put Romsey 1-0 up.
As half time approached Dave Loescher had to clear up a couple of Basingstoke break aways, but Bryn Wathen was untroubled in the Romsey goal. Then in the 35th minute, Mayes broke in to the circle and drove alone the end of the pitch to pull the ball back to Hendy who made no mistake for 2-0.
The second half started with Romsey on the attack, and early on Colin Harwood intercepted an attempted clearance down the right, he played the ball to the top of the circle, and Rob Cavalier found himself with the ball and able to get a fierce strike away for 3-0 and his first goal for the Club.
Not to be out done, Harwood then played a similar ball to the top of the circle for Felix Chapman-Sheath to lift the ball first time past the keeper and high in to the net for 4-0.
The play continued, and this time a Harwood shot was stopped on the goal line, as the ball bounced up off Humphreys stick and the goalkeeper, the Romsey midfielder made no mistake smashing the ball down in to the goal from its lofted position.
Basingstoke did pull a goal back, when a well worked moved from an interception caught Romsey short at the back, and Loescher and Wathen and Ben Parker couldn’t keep the ball out as ‘Stoke made it 5-1.
But Romsey were not finished and Humphreys bagged his second from a similar distance to his first, this time after good play from Jamie Sanderson to get the ball deep in to the circle, and Humphreys pushed the ball, this time on the ground, over the line and it was 6-1.
Then with Dasve Loescher pushing up as the game drew to an end he played in Colin Harwood in the left hand corner of the pitch, Harwood lifted the ball over the defenders stick and drove towards the circle, as two defenders and the keeper closed him down he passed to Josh Harwood at the top of the circle to play the ball first time in to goal for 7-1.

Romsey 1st XI Vs. Surbiton 3rd XI: Hampshire Collegiate School

In the reverse fixture, the Abbey side were pinned down, and beaten into submission by the half time break, and history looked to be repeating itself. An extremely young Surbiton squad were eager to attack at any expense, and from push back, they launched an all-out assault, peppering the Romsey ‘D’, with crash balls at every opportunity. This proved, yet again, to be a thorn in the Romsey heel as a Surbiton forward found space to deflect past man of the match Lozz Scott.

Romsey’s problems looked set to only worsen. Following a spat of unconverted short corners, the Surrey side were awarded a penalty stroke, after a goal bound shot was illegally stopped on the goal line. The Surbiton striker stepped up and scuffed his strike. The miscued flick bobbled down the middle, almost embarrassing Scott who had readied himself to dive, fortunately the stroke bounced off both of Scott’s feet, before stopping dead just short of the goal line.

This warning spurred the home side on, who began to play some attacking hockey of their own, using their wide players to great effect. A solid defensive line from the Surrey team started to crumble, and a rarely seen predatory instinct took over with Romsey winning 3 penalty corners in as many minutes. Although the first 2 of which were not capitalised upon, the third was dispatched by Danny Miles with a flick, low to the left hand side of the Surrey ‘keeper.

What followed was a fiercely contested game of hockey. Romsey, caught napping from a long corner, failed to clear their lines, and were yet again punished from a routine set piece. A quick pass, and 1 touch deflection into the ‘D’ eliminated 4 players, and a scruffy phase of play ended with the ball being swept in the goal. The game continued in the same fashion, and Romsey leveled with a deflection. Jack Forrest-Charde found some space to look up and see the diagonal run of Chris Mason. A cleanly struck pass was met with the deftest of touches from mason, wrong footing the ‘keeper, and leveling the game. The Abbey side were growing into the game, and looked the better team leading up to the break. However, a few moments of bad ball management and lack of passing, left Romsey sighing with relief at the sound of the whistle.

Surbiton came out strong, and seemed intent on scoring early on. Pushing forwards high to pressure the Romsey back line seemed successful, fortunately for the yellows, they pushed their unsuccessful penalty corner attempts into double figures, with Scott making a number of vital saves to keep them within touching distance. Romsey, still competing, launched a number of their own attacks, twice missing from close range, and twice bested by the away ‘keeper in 1v1 situations. With 10 minutes remaining, a fierce tackle inside the 25 yard zone, resulted in a penalty corner for Romsey. Miles stepped up, and fired into the top left corner taking his 2017 tally to 7 goals in 5 games, to put the Abbey men ahead, 3-2.

Surbiton came agonisingly close to leveling, with a clearance of the line by David Edwards, and a diving save from Scott, Romsey appeared to be set for a second victory in 3 weeks. Ever the givers, and true to their form however, Romsey kindly offered the Londoners 2 final penalty corners with 2 minutes remaining. Riding their luck, the Hampshire side stumbled across the line, in a nail biting encounter. Finally learning from a few of their mistakes, Romsey look ahead to 3 Hampshire clashes in coming weeks. Is Regional survival on the cards?

Romsey took revenge from a home defeat before Christmas to take all three points in an evenly contested in game in which the away side took their chances and defended as a unit to keep the home side out for much of the match.
Romsey started on the offensive, and pressed Camberley in their own half, Dave Andrews and Chris Harwood pushed up and intercepted many clearances in order to maintain the pressure.

Carl Hendy was unlucky when his goal bound shot hit a foot, near the line, but a penalty corner was the result.
Romsey opened the scoring when Jamie Sanderson tackled in his own half, winning the ball and then moving forward with it he picked out Hendy, who controlled it and then played in Josh Harwood who found himself with only keeper to beat, which he did beautifully for his first league goal of the season.
Camberley then upped their game, and it was Romsey’s turn to soak up pressure. Will Richards at left back made two important tackles to keep Camberley out of the Romsey circle, and when eventually Camberley won a series of penalty corners it was first Dave Andrews deflecting the shot, then Ben Parker twice clearing the ball from around the goal line and Dave Loescher tidying up to ensure Camberley were frustrated.
As Romsey cleared their lines from another attack, Josh Harwood found himself with the ball deep in his own half, he played a pass to Colin Harwood on half way who turned and ran towards goal, as the last defender came towards him he played the ball out right to Chris Harwood who was moving at pace down the right wing, as Chris Harwood ran towards the circle he drew the goalkeeper out brilliantly before squaring the ball to up rushing Colin Harwood who first time played it in to the open goal for 2-0 HT lead to Romsey.
The second half started with Romsey again on the back foot, but Bryn Wathen in goal pulled off two fine saves to keep the Romsey goal in tact, before Loescher and then Duncan Sanders made two fine interceptions in their own circle to keep the scoreline 2-0.
An move up the pitch by Romsey saw Dave Andrews win the ball in the far right corner from the Camberley defender, he drove with the ball in to the circle, and as Carl Hendy kept won defender busy, Andrews passed to the top of the circle for Colin Harwood to rifle in an unstoppable shot for 3-0.
Camberley were not lying down however, and Wathen was forced to two more fine saves and Parker & Loescher two more clearances as the visitors absorbed all the play in their defending third, but when they released the ball to Rob Cavalier, he played in Chris Harwood to sweep the ball up to Carl Hendy, as the ball ran to the Camberley defender, he played it out to Josh Harwood who ran with the ball again towards the goal keeper. This time the young forward drew the keeper, and went round him before slotting in for 4-0.
Camberley eventually got their deserved consolation from a penalty corner, but Romsey were well pleased with their victory and the way they took their chances. 

On the back of a cancellation, Romsey played only their 2nd game of the 2017, the reverse of a fixture they could, and probably should have won back in October. With a mismatch squad, retaining a number of their up and coming talent, Romsey started the game positively, and applied pressure all over the pitch, and although a little over eager, it was a refreshing change of pace for the team still searching for their first win of the season.

The Abbey side continued to pile on the pressure, and dominantly controlled the middle of the park, and following the run of play, they found themselves in the lead after 15 minutes, when Zak Cooper won a penalty corner. Danny Miles readied himself for a routine flick, unfortunately, miss control lead to an improvised set piece, in which Miles dragged the ball onto his reverse stick, hitting across the goal, and finding the far corner.

The home side, looked set to abolish their woeful record of immediately conceding after taking the lead, however, just as the imminent threat appeared to be over, Winchester pulled a goal back. The goal came after a long passage of click passing, after dragging the home defence out of position, a pass from deep found an open player in the ‘D’ who deflected in high, past ‘keeper Lozz Scott.

Romsey entered half-time down beat about the score line, but it was well within their ability to get a result, and the second half proved this to be true. A truly open affair, saw back and forth attacking play, with both teams continuously testing one another’s ‘keeper. Unfortunately, Romsey’s lack of set-piece options, proved costly yet again, as they wasted numerous opportunities from penalty and long corners alike.

The game remained close, and although a lack of goals were on display, it was a great outing for the spectators. Unfortunately for Romsey, it was another week of despair, whilst desperately searching for that first win of the season, the Abbey side were caught on the break, and conceded a penalty corner late on. The initial drag flick was smartly saved by ‘keeper Scott, but Romsey did not clear their lines, and the ball fell kindly to the Winchester captain, who clinically lifted high into the net, whilst falling to the floor. The home side, fought valiantly to level the game, but time was not on their side. Winchester, clung on to clinch 3 points.

Next up, another home fixture against misfiring Addiscombe.

Haslemere took revenge for the reverse score line back in early December in an evenly contested game.Romsey provided both umpires and Peter Lloyd and Nick Welby allowed a great game to be played with some excellent advantage played at key times that both teams appreciated.

Haslemere were on top for the first 15 minutes, and Romsey were indebted to Bryn Wathen for a number of saves, and James Tower two first time clearances as it seemed Haslemere did everything but score.

Romsey got back in to the game and Rob Williams started linking up with Jamie Sanderson down the left to push play up the Romsey attacking end of the field.

Romsey fell behind though when the Haslemere winger got past Ben Parker and evaded Dave Loescher to play the ball across Wathen, Tower arrived with the forward but was only able to push the ball in under pressure despite his best efforts.

This raised Romseys game, Sanderson played in Colin Harwood down the left, he played in Phil Humphreys who cleverly worked the ball back out to Williams to drive the ball back in and it fell to Carl Hendy to make no mistake close in for 1 1.

Romsey started the second half on top, and had a few half chances, Harwood’s reverse strike was calmly saved by the keeper, and Josh Harwood was unlucky when he was played in and squared across the keeper only for Haslemere to clear. 

Humphreys and Williams combined with Simon Mayes but Romsey couldn’t find the final ball.

Then with Romsey tiring Haslemere won a penalty corner and somewhat against the run of play in the second half converted to retake the lead

With Romsey pushing for an equaliser and with extra players upfront Haslemere grabbed a third on the break in the final minutes for 3 1 scoreline.

A much changed, and somewhat younger looking Romsey squad , faced off against league leaders, Croydon, fielding 5 debutants, 4 straight out of senior school, and Romsey stalwart, Stuart Robertson, of an undisclosed age. This fixture was very much a glimpse into the future of Romsey hockey, with 7 of the 13 squad members still in their ‘teens’, and although the inexperience was telling, the potential was visible and promising. Unfortunately, the Abbey side started the game with a damage limitation mind-set, and this was evident from the offset, and although Romsey had their opportunities, and periods of positive possession, the lack of cohesion and familiarity with one another, quickly forced Romsey into a defensive approach that was breached time, and time again, by a well organised, and aggressive press.

Romsey were down to 10 men after 5 minutes, with ‘keeper Lozz Scott sin binned, for allegedly fouling the Croydon forward, and to make matters worse, the Londoners were awarded a penalty stroke. Ben Butcher valiantly attempted to stop the stroke, donning the protective helmet and hand guards. Inevitably, Romsey were down 1-0.

Occasionally threatening to find a footing in the game, the Hampshire side were their own worst enemy, and were 3-0 down 15 minutes later, after 2 converted penalty corners, courtesy of some nifty footwork in their defensive ‘D’. With a lack of  defensive outlets, Romsey resorted to route one passing, and holding on to the ball too often, and on 2 such occasions, conceded. A well disguised drag flick, and a successful counter-attack, meant the away side limped into half time 5-0 down.

Following a seemingly productive interval, the game was well and truly put to bed by Croydon, after a swift break resorted in a penalty corner. A low flick that wrong footed Lozz Scott, tied up the points, leaving the abbey side fighting for their pride, and to their credit, they got involved and began creating a number of opportunities. An interception, by returnee Chris Mason, lead an attack that found a defensive foot, resulting in their first penalty of the game. A misfired injection scuppered any chance of a clean strike, however, the Croydon defensive unit over ran, and Miles managed to find Mason on the back post, to seemingly tap in for a goal in his first appearance in a year. Much to his dismay, personal celebrations were cut short, as Dave Edwards crept behind to ‘keeper to pinch the goal on the line. A goal he ruthlessly claimed following a post-game discussion.

The Surrey based team quickly replied with another penalty corner, nonetheless, drawing blood buoyed the Abbey side, and an ‘onslaught’ of sorts followed. Growing in confidence the youthful away team strung a number of passes together and found themselves in dangerous positions, with Arthur Barcia going close with a rushed strike, and Chris Harwood miss-trapping in the ‘D’ after some smart build up play by Zak Cooper. The pressure was telling. The game may have been over, but Romsey can look back on some of the quick passing that ensued, leading to a penalty corner, that Miles dispatched in the top left quadrant of the goal. The London side, turned on the style in the final 10 minutes, and were pushing for double figures, and came close after converting an open field goal, and 2 late penalty corners.

At the end of the game, The Abbey side were on the end, of what would appear to be a 9-2 drubbing, and although there is a degree of truth to this, Romsey were always faced with an arduous task. A difficult game and situation, with low squad availability, brought about a silver lining, in the opportunity handed to a number of youngsters looking to play regularly in coming years, and they all did themselves justice.

On wards and hopefully upwards against local Hampshire rivals Winchester.

Romsey had one of those days where nearly everything went right in a game they needed to win to put six points and a superior goal difference between them and the Vikings.
The game started well for Romsey, Rob Williams and Josh Harwood combining off a Vikings foot for Williams to shoot, only for the play to be pulled back for foul.

Williams made up for it a few minutes later when he intercepted a pass and drove on to goal to put Romsey 1 0 up. 

Vikings pushed forward, but Dave Loescher and Duncan Sanders were solid at the back, using Will Richards to release the ball out on the left, and James Tower on the right. He started the move for the second goal, playing in James Boggis who combined with Phil Humphreys and Jamie Sanderson to allow debutant Simon Mayes to apply a deft touch at the near post for 2 0.

Romsey needed some strong defending to ensure they held a two goal advantage but Bryn Wathen in goal was never troubled.
From a penalty corner played out from Humphreys to Colin Harwood, Rob Williams fired just wide. Then Williams played in Josh Harwood who cushioned his pass to Harwood senior to fire in for 3 0.
Harwood senior made it 4 0 when he found space in the circle and was beautifully picked out by Mayes, to fire in again.
Humphreys grabbed the fifth from a penalty corner routine that broke down, but as the ball was played back in he made sure, forcing it over the line.
Boggis completed the 6 0 half time score line getting on the end of some great passing and cross from Jamie Sanderson who a reverse tap in.
Vikings held Romsey at the start of the second half, and it the home side couldn’t find a break through until Boggis crossed close in for Harwood Senior to get his hat trick. 

The from a penalty corner Harwood passed square to Mayes for him to rifle in an unstoppable shot for 8 0.
Vikings rallied and got a deserved goal back with a well worked move that saw Wathen close down the main forward only for him to pass it back for his partner to strike home
As the game closed out Harwood grabbed two more goals, one from a pass in to the circle by Man of the match Tower and then near the end Josh Harwood crossed the ball for Harwood to volley the ball first time in to the roof of the next for his fifth and Romsey tenth

A slow starting reintroduction to post-Christmas fixtures, pitted the best defence in the league, against the lowest scoring offence. Romsey travelled to league leaders Sunbury and Walton Haws 1’s.

A lethargic, and nervy opening 10 minutes, saw few opportunities arise, and unfortunately, this only grew into impatient and frantic play, with both sides coughing up possession throughout the half. Just as both teams began to settle, Sunbury won, and converted a penalty corner, a goal that should really have been stopped by the designated man on the post. With both teams having grown into the half, some neat, and tactical hockey was displayed by both sides, implementing interchanging  presses, and organised use of the flanks, Romsey became increasingly dangerous. Following 2 tantalisingly close penalty corner misses by Birch, and a miss-trap on the back post by debutante Morgan Robertson, Romsey finally leveled the game through the latter. Man of the match Robertson, had 2 early chances saved, but kept his composure to slot in the bottom corner from 6 yards after some patient build up play from Romsey. With momentum and confidence building the Abbey side were stopped in their tracks by the half time break.

The away side were showing signs of life, and at times looked to be sticking to their game plan. However, as shown in the previous half of the campaign, old habits die hard, and it was Romsey’s, overuse of the aerial pass, and apparent obsession with carrying the ball into pressure that was the telling factor.

Unfortunately there was to be no happy ending for Hampshire side, whom are still searching for their first win of the campaign. Sunbury, came out stronger, quicker and hungrier, and were 3-1 up inside 10 minutes with some seamless counter-attacking, and superior composure in and around the ‘D’. They continued to dominate with their slick one-touch passing and clinical finishing, and at the end of the day, just proved the too strong for a bewildered and depleted Romsey squad. The Abbey side failed to win a single penalty corner in the second half. Struggling to get out of their own half, frustration set in, and 2 late sin-bins for youngster Zak Cooper, and Captain Tom Ponsford, allowed a buoyant Sunbury and Walton Hawks side to finish the game in style with a 5-1 victory, taking them to the top of the table.

Romsey aim to improve their fortunes with the help of a new coach, and a new pitch for their home games, at Hampshire Collegiate School. Next up, a must win battle against fellow relegation contenders Camberley and Farnborough 1st XI.

Unfortunately training tonight has been cancelled due to the pich being frozen. Current forecast suggests that this situation will not change so we have made an early decision to cancel.

Sorry to disappoint 🙁

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.

Romsey were disappointed not to take all three points from a game in which they were never ahead but a far more chances to win the match.
The game started evenly, and Romsey dominated possession, winning a number of penalty corners but theese were all squandered.
Then Salisbury broke away and Dave Andrews was green carded for a foul and Salisbury gained some momentum. When Romsey were restored to eleven, Salisbury won a penalty corner and despite a great save from Bryn Wathen, Ben Parker and Duncan Sanders couldn’t clear the ball quick enough to stop the rebound being followed up.
Romsey equalised soon after, when from the third of three penalty corners Colin Harwood played the ball out to Carl Hendy who played it back to Harwood to sweep the ball in for 1-1.
With half time approaching Peter Cooper had a strike from a penalty corner saved, and Hendy and Rob Williams both went close, but a break away from Salisbury saw the forward wriggle through to somehow beat Wathen from a tight angle.
The second half saw Romsey defence looking far more solid and Williams and Cooper started to build some good moves, a cross from the right was almost turned in by Rob Cavalier at the far post, and Josh Harwood worked two clear openings only for the final touch to not be found.
Romsey finally equalised when Cooper forced his way in to the circle after interchanging with Jamie Sanderson and his shot came back off the post straight to Colin Harwood to make it 2-2.
As Romsey pushed for their third a breakaway led to a penalty corner award to Salisbury, and against the run of play, a fine shot went through Parker and gave Salisbury the lead for the third time.
Romsey equalised when Josh Harwood and Will Richards combined down the right to push the ball across to Colin Harwood whose shot was going wide before being touched home by Carl Hendy.
In the last minute great work by Williams played in Hendy, as he drew the keeper he squared the ball to the up rushing Colin Harwood, who stumbled as he shot, and with the keeper touching the ball away from Williams and Hendy Salisbury cleared to maintain a 3-3 final scoreline

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.  

 

 

 

 

Romsey secured their second win of the season in a must win six point encounter with Lavant that was a roller coaster of a game.Romsey started brightly Rob Cavalier unable to convert after being played in by Josh Harwood, and with Dave Andrews and Jamie Sanderson supporting wide looked the stronger side. 

Carl Hendy then came on upfront and he was set up by Harwood junior only to see his shot go wide. They moments later he made no mistake from a similar set up for 1 0.

This woke Lavant up and they immediately pushed forward winning a penalty corner. The defence was out quick, with Dave Cardy blocking the strike but a slip left saw Bryn Wathen trying to cover the whole goal and it was 1 1. 

From the restart Romsey got caught and having led the game found themselves behind when Lavant got the ball to the centre forward and despite the efforts of Ben Parker and Will Richards he made it 2 1.

Romsey a heads didn’t drop and James Tower cleared down the right to Josh Harwood just inside the Lavant half, bearing his man he pushed on and beat another, as the third defender came towards him he passed the ball across goal to Hendy for the experienced striker to make it 2 2.

With half time approaching Romsey won a penalty corner, Ben Parker played it out to Colin Harwood, his slip right to Phil Humphreys was crossed back in to the circle for the taker Parker to score his first goal for 15 odd years and put Romsey 3 2 up at the break.

In the second half Romsey relieved some pressure with a great run by Richards, this allowed the ball to find Josh Harwood and he went on another mazey Man of the match run beating his men and passing to Hendy for 4 2 and a Hendy hat trick.

Romsey needed to keep their two goal advantage but were caught on the break and Lavant made no mistake out numbering the Romsey defence and giving the out rushing Wathen no chance.

Romsey soaked up some pressure and played some disciplined hockey to keep their 4 3 lead and were unlucky when Colin Harwood played in Hendy whose shot was touched in by Humphreys only to be ruled out for an infringement but Romsey held on for the 3 point.

Romsey hosted table topping Alton and were unlucky to get nothing for their efforts.

Alton started strongly as their lofty position suggested, but Bryn Wathen calmly kicked a couple of half chances clear, and Ben Parker and Raul Patel were solid in the centre to keep Alton out.

Altons experience began to show against a very youthful Romsey and they made the breakthrough mid way through the half, as Alton broke through the midfield to put number Romsey in the circle and go 1 0 up. They doubled their advantage when some skilful play down the right got them round Dave Cardy and a cross to the centre of the circle couldn’t be met by James Tower and a first time shot made it 2 0.

From the restart Tower played in Felix Chapman-Sheath and his interchanged with Noah Cooper and Phil Humphreys to work the ball upfield and win a penalty corner. Parker pushed the ball out to Colin Harwood who slipped the ball left to Josh Harwood, his shot to far post was met by Chapman-Sheath who couldn’t quite steer it in.

This spurred Romsey on at start of The second half, and a repeat move from a penalty corner saw Harwood play the ball left to man of the match Rob Williams who made no mistake for 2 1. Then Chapman-Sheath found himself at the top of the circle after good play out from Phil Humphreys. He played in Harwood Snr on the right who squared for Rob Williams to crash in the equaliser.

Sadly as Romsey sniffed a possible victory Alton broke away and made it 3 2, and then with Romsey pressing to equalise again made it 4 2. Carl Hendy had a chance for 4 3 linking up with Will Richards who was pushing forward, but Romsey had to settle for another narrow defeat.

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