M4s go down fighting !

Romsey mens 4s visited Hamble on Saturday the 5th of October on an overcast autumnal day.

PB was 10.30am and Romsey were blessed with an experienced midfield with Alexis Harris and Jim East controlling things early on.

After 10 mins things were pretty even and Romsey’s defence under the guidance of Lukasz Suleja was coping well and Rob Cav was linking well with Phil Orak who was having a strong start in midfield.

As the half wore on Ben H and Freddie O were working well on the wings getting the ball up to Sean Rawles and Carl Hendy who were finding good positions in the D.

Hamble remained strong however and started to apply a lot of pressure and despite great defending from Pete O’Hara , Nick Cooper and Mike Pooley shots were starting to rain down on the Romsey goal. This forced Ollie O into a string of great saves topped by one shot pushed over the bar with a fully out stretched stick, great reactions!

Hamble came again and the ball fell to their attacker just inside the D and as he wound up for a full hit, Mike Pooley lunged forward to the pitch of the ball and got his stick to it just as the attacker struck it forcing a wicked deflection causing the ball to rear up and strike him above the eye. Mike reeled back stunned but remained on his feet although needed first aid treatment straight away for a nasty cut. ( I am pleased to say after 3 stitches at Winchester hospital he is well)

The pressure finally told and just before half time Hamble scored 1-0!

The second half started well and Romsey were applying good pressure and moving the ball well through midfield with Ben and Alexis H working well to Find Barry H and Phil O who were working hard. On one attack the ball was pulled back to top D and Jim East latched on it and sent the keeper the wrong way and finished coolly 1-1!

This stunned Hamble who upped their game and surged forward forcing more good saves from Ollie O , however he could not keep them all out and Hamble scored two in quick succession 3-1!

Hamble continued their dominance and were moving the ball really well and scored again with a great shot which left Ollie unsighted. 4-1! Romsey weren’t done yet and a quick break from Alexis who found Sean in the D who slotted home calmly 4-2!

Unfortunately this was a false dawn and Hamble went on to score two more in the dying minutes to make the final 6-2.

Man of the match – Ollie O – great performance!

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Men’s 4s Almost Force a Result

Men’s 4s played Gillingham at home on the new Romsey pitch, a fine Autumn day with a 2pm push back saw Romsey blood 3 new players and a host of u14s.

A brisk start saw Gillingham putting Romsey under a lot of pressure in the first 20 minutes of the match, fine defending from N Cooper, P O’Hara & L Suleja kept Gillingham at bay.

A brisk start saw Gillingham putting Romsey under a lot of pressure in the first 20 minutes of the match, fine defending from N Cooper, P O’Hara & L Suleja kept Gillingham at bay.

Gillingham were shocked and the goal was arguably against the run of play, this spurred them on and Romsey were under extreme pressure with the halftime looming , more good defending from Field , O’Hara senior and junior O O’Hara was frustrating Gillingham.

60 seconds before the halftime whistle Gillingham broke on their right and burst into the D and the attacker hit a ferocious shot into the top right hand corner. There was nothing O O’Hara could do about it.

As the second half started M Pooley started to assert himself in midfield finding D Blackman on the wing on more than one occasion. All three debutants had acquitted themselves well.

However Gillingham were quick on the counter attack and yet more strong defending from P O’Hara , N Cooper, L Suleja and Goal keeper O O’Hara kept them at bay. However it was not long before they finally made the pressure pay and scored 2-1 Gillingham!

Romsey had nothing to loose so in the last ten minutes they pushed hard for an equaliser and from a short corner C Pain sent a flick arrowing to the top left hand corner only to see the keeper make a fine save to deny him.

However it was not to be and the final score was Romsey 1-2 Gillingham

Man of the match – P O’Hara , excellent defensive performance.

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M4s sign off in style

Romsey managed to earn all three points in this fun end of season clash, having gifted Hamble their only point of the season in the away fixture back in December.

Hamble started brightly, and were reliant on a solid back four performance, with Simeon Field again showing how far he has developed in his second season, Duncan Sanders and Lukasz Suleja solid at the back and James Tower, playing his usual game of defence and attack at left back, before he departs for Canada for a year.

Once Romsey did get the ball, an attack with Phil Orak and Dave Procter won a penalty corner, Procter pushed the ball out to Colin Harwood who slipped it to Jon Marsh to put Romsey 1 0 up.

It was a tight game for the rest of the half, Andy Moger playing a pivotal role in his last match before moving to Bristol.

Bryn Wathen has to make two good saves, to keep Hamble out and Barry Hatch was unlucky when Harwood intercepted a 16 yard ball and squared it to the forward, who had his shot blocked.

Romsey almost doubled their lead in the second half when after three shots were blocked by sticks on the line, eventually a foot saw a penalty flick awarded. Harwood stepped up aiming for the left post and accurately hit it face on to see the ball rebound to his feet.

Romsey finally doubled their lead in the second half after Dan Blackman and Field combined to play the ball to Marsh who powerfully struck the ball towards the circle and Matt Duke to slide it in for 2 0.

As Romsey thought they were hockey players by coolly playing it around at the back, Hamble intercepted eventually and then Wathen had no chance with a dunce strike just under the bar for 2-1. He then pulled a fine save, deflecting another high shot on to the bar and over.

Romsey wrapped up the points when Sean Rawles combined with Will Payne and Ben Harris to allow Barry Hatch to shoot the ball in for 3 1 and 3 points in the final game of the season, which saw Romsey4 finish 4th of eight, with 25 points. 
8 points behind IOW2 who were crowned champions, and who dropped only 9 points all season, their only defeat being at the hands of Romsey.

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M4s miss out v Lavant

Romsey were unlucky not to get at least a point from this game, with 3rd place in the final table at stake.

Romsey started the brighter and spent the first ten minutes inside the Lavant half.
Bryn Wathen and Dave Procter up front couldn’t find the final touch on good build up play down the right between Dan Blackman and Colin Harwood.  With Pete O’Hara combing with Ben Parker down the left to play the ball in to the circle and win penalty corners.

The Lavant keeper in fine form, saved twice from Wathen from two penalty corners, once from a Parker Harwood penalty corner move then from Harwood’s shot.

As Romsey pushed forward with Jon Marsh moving up from centre back to centre midfield to support Andy Moger, it left Lukasz Suleja and Simeon Field exposed to fast counter attacks. Field cut off one and Suleja another before Romsey conceded a penalty corner. Typically there wasn’t much Ollie OH could do from a shot that he had covered before it was touched past him by a forward to see Romsey 1 0 down at HT.

Romsey equalised early in the second half when Parker’s penalty corner push out saw Harwood’s shot again saved, only for the taker to follow up and score to put himself in the top 10 on the 4th XI all time scorers list!

A good move involving Wathen, Matt Duke and Phil Orak saw the ball crossed at pace to the far post where Blackman was able to control it but roll it agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

Moger and Marsh both got themselves in to the circle, but Romsey couldn’t find that second goal, and typically conceded possession and then another penalty corner near the end of the game to allow Lavant to repeat their effort of the first half and run out 2 1 winners and with it more or less secure 3rd spot in the league.

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M4s soak up pressure in the Sun

Romsey 4th XI inflicted a first defeat of the season against high flying, and potential Division 9 South winners the Isle of Wight, on a scorching hot February day.
The IOW had won 6-2 in the game on the Island, where Romsey at 1-2 down had failed to take a number of penalty corner chances, it felt like roles were revered for this match as Romsey held on to secure the three points.
Romsey had three players making their 4th XI debuts, Dave Proctor, playing his first match for the club, along with the young Freddie OH who was playing with his brother and father, and Jon Marsh returning to playing following a serious back injury trying out for a time each half.
Romsey thought they would be struggling to field 11 players, but with Dave Miles able to stand at the back Romsey were able to compete with the Islanders.  Romsey were on the back foot at the start, with Marsh at the back with the strong James Tower for company and Ben Parker at left back, fresh from helping out the 2s over the past couple of weeks, and Simeon Field at right back. Every time IOW got in to a scoring position Romsey got the vital touch to clear, Field and Tower ensuring Ollie OH in goal was well protected, and the young keeper making two fine blocks to keep the score level.
With the introduction of Miles, the experienced defender appeared to be foul tackled, but in fact a good take from the IOW forward left Romsey ball watching, and he played the ball to the IOW centre forward to calmly put IOW 1-0 up.
Romsey started to play some better hockey Jim East commanding the centre, and finding outlets to Dan Blackman on the right. Blackman combined with Colin Harwood to play in Freddie OH but the final pass just went off the pitch.
East then played a sideline ball to Freddie who touched it on to Dave Proctor to pass the ball in to the goal at the near post for a Romsey equalizer, and then soon after, Ben Parker played Pete O’Hara in down the left, he got himself around the ball and played it on to an IOW foot just outside the circle. Harwood played the free hit back to Dave Miles at the 23 yard line, he drove in and saw his first shot blocked but followed up the rebound to give Romsey a 2-1 HT lead.
In the second half with Proctor going off to protect his knee injury, Romsey had to soak up wave after wave of IOW pressure. Phil Orak came back to assist at left half, and the midfield had to sit deep, allowing the marauding Tower to have the run from defence to attack.
As IOW one penalty corner after penalty corner it looked like it was only a matter of time before they made it 2-2, but with Tower deflecting a shot over the bar, and Man of the Match Field performing a reverse stick aerial stop, it was left to Ollie OH in goal to save the final penalty corner shot of the match, much to the hugging delight of father Pete, for Romsey to run out 2-1 victors. 
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M4s beat the weather, and Salisbury

Romsey won a hard fought encounter in what at times were almost unplayable conditions due to the driving rain, but were pleased to keep a clean sheet and do the double over local rivals.

Salisbury looked sharper in the opening minutes, but solid centre defence play by Ben Parker and James Tower saw Salisbury get only one shot away, and that was comfortably saved by Ollie O’Hara in goal.

Full backs Simeon Field and Andy Moger then started to create space and push forward, playing in Josh Harwood to link with Stan Cazaly down the right, he got a couple of crosses in to the circle that were cleared to safety.

Romsey took the lead when Colin Harwood played a deep ball in to the circle for Phil Orak to control and pass to Bryn Wathen to shoot past the keeper.

With torrential rain at half time, a drenched Romsey pushed for a second goal in the second period. With Moger on the left combining with Pete O’Hara, who pulled his defender to the corner to make space inside,  Orak and Wathen combined to win a penalty corner. Parker played the ball out to Harwood who watched for the out rushing defenders before calmly playing the ball left to Man of the Match Wathen who stroked the ball in for 2 0.

Romsey needed to call on Ollie O’Hara again to cover his near post, as Salisbury pushed for a goal, and after winning a couple of penalty corners the defence stood strong.

A third goal for Romsey looked likely as Steve White now playing upfront made some good inroads, and won another penalty corner. This time Josh Harwood’s shot was cleared off the line as the final whistle blew.

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M4s battle past Poole

Romsey battled to inflict a similar scoreline to the away fixture in a great advert for lower league hockey between two sides who balanced youth and experience.

It was Poole who started the brighter, putting their better prepared warm up routine to the test they played the ball down their right, taking out Pete O’Hara and Andy Moger, then played the ball past Duncan Sanders and Dave Loescher beautifully to leave their young forward to reverse strike the ball just inside the post past Ollie O’Hara in goal.

Simeon Field roused Romsey, by challenging the centre midfielders to get a grip on the game, and Morgan Robertson rose to the task, taking a lead role in winning the ball and distributing it left and right. Romsey made some half chances for Dan Blackman and Phil Orak up front, but when they got the ball to Stan Cazaly on the right, Romsey started to open up the Poole defence.

Romsey equalised when Cazaly played the ball across to Steve White, who appeared to have under hit his reverse stick shot but it squeezed in under the keeper.

Then Dave Loescher brought the ball out of defence, over the half way line and then up to the Poole circle. He won a penalty corner and stayed up to support the move. Colin Harwood’s push out to Morgan Robertson resulted in the ball not being cleared, and Dan Blackman stretched to play the ball to Man of the Match Cazaly to fire in from a tight angle to give Romsey a 2-1 HT lead.

In the second half Romsey pushed forward, and another penalty corner shot from Robertson was not cleared, Romsey had several chances to get the ball over the line, eventually Harwood making it 3-1.

Harwood then played a perfectly weighted ball to Cazaly on the half way line, and the right sided player ran with the ball to the top of the circle before shooting and seeing the keeper only able to deflect it inside the post for 4-1.

With Duncan Sanders going off injured, Robertson dropped to centre back, and Blackman stepped up to cap a fine game on his return by playing centre midfield. This allowed Harwood to play higher up the pitch, and a good move saw Steve White make it 5-1 with a shot on the turn.

Poole scored a consolation second late on to mirror the scoreline from the away fixture, but Romsey were worthy winners, and the game allowed some of the players returning from injury and those playing only their first ever games to gain some confidence and pitch time.

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M4s- All hands to the pumps v Trojans!

Romsey mens 4s played Trojans away on the 12th Jan 2019.

The team were struggling for numbers as at least 6 regular players were playing up , it was all hands to the pump with every resource drained to get a team out.

Push back was at 1.30pm and Trojans were fast out the blocks and the Romsey midfield and defence were pinned back , Duncan Sanders and Dave Loescher were straight into the action with some great last ditch defending to keep things level.
Romsey started to use their outlets down the left with Andy Modger making good progress but a very organised Trojans defence were covering the good runs made by Sean Rawles and B Wathen
The ball kept coming back into the Romsey half and Jim East and Harwood Senior were having to drop back to support the defence. It was not long before Trojans broke the deadlock with a fantastic strike from just inside the D giving O’Hara junior no chance. 1-0!
This spurred Romsey on and they found their second wind, East and Harwood senior started to find space in the middle of the pitch. Harwood senior picked up the ball and threaded a great pass down the right to Harwood Junior who cut in off the wing and pulled a great ball back to top D where East arrived and thumped a first time shot into the bottom left hand corner before the keeper even moved. 1-1 game on!
The game was even and Romsey were using their outlets Moger, Steve White and Harwood Junior to good effect but  Trojans were strong and back on the attack , Simeon Field was overloaded on their left and Trojans put a neat move together and finished well. 2-1!
The second half started well and Debutante Phillip Orak and O’Hara senior were pressing well in midfield.  White was working hard down the left and sent a a great ball into the D which would just not fall for the battling Rawles.
Trojans broke quickly and after initial good defending from Sanders , Loescher and Field Trojans had a spare man over who found his striking partner to finish calmly.3-1!
As the match went on Romsey were pushing to get back in the game and Moger made a couple of great moves down the left and Harwood Junior was a constant threat on the right. Equally Trojans were counter  attacking and twice forced great saves from O’Hara junior.
Final score Trojans 3-1 Romsey
100% effort from Romsey and hands were at the pump!

Man of the match- Andy Moger , great work on the left.

DOD – Harwood Senior, Drove of without B wathen at the end of the match, almost got home! but had to come back….

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M4s bring out the old guns and new!

Romsey Men’s 4s were playing away at Hamble with a weakened team as several key players were playing further up the club.

They had manged to draft in debutante Pete O’Hara and club stalwart Jim East to help shore up the midfield.

Push back was at 12.00 with rainy and windy conditions to deal with.

Hamble started brightly and you could see Romsey were trying to settle in to a new formation and new personnel.

They were just starting to settle  but Hamble broke smartly and finished a nice move to take the lead. 1-0

This spurred Romsey on and now they started to pass and find their men and both wingers Andy Moger and Matt D were starting to cause problems in the opposition half.

Half chances were starting to fall to Sean Rawles and Carl Hendy up front who were working hard to find space in a well drilled Hamble defence.

It was not long before Romseys passing found its mark and a beautiful passing move starting from Will P in defence all the way down the field before being slid across the D for Matt D to finish accurately. 1-1!

Romsey were now in control and soon picked a second goal with a smart finish from Bryn W arriving late in the D to smash the ball past the defender on the line who could nothing to stop it. 2-1!

Half time was approaching and a loose ball in midfield saw Hamble break through and punish Romsey against the run of play 2-2!

The second half started and both teams were on the attack determined to get something from the match. The Romsey defence was under a lot of pressure and were forced into some great defending from Duncan Sanders , Rob Cav and Pete O’Hara to keep Hamble at bay. The midfield were also having to word hard with Barry H linking well with Matt D trying to get Romsey up the field.

A Romsey defender looked to slide a quick ball infield but was read well by Hamble and intercepted , the attacker was through into the D , goal keeper Ollie O’H was smart of his line to narrow the angle but the attacker finished well low and hard into the corner. 3-2!

Romsey heads did not go down and now chased the game with Will P making a succession of great runs with the ball from one end of the pitch to the other no one could get near him . This forced two short corners and put Romsey on the front foot again.

Jim East picked the ball up in midfield a slid a ball into Carl Hendy who expertly with his back to goal controlled and shot in one motion into the left hand corner giving the keeper no chance. 3-3!

The final whistle went 5 minutes later to finish a second half that was end to end.

Romsey deserved the point and the whole team had given 100% to the end.

Player of the match – Will P , great energy and super second half , well done.

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M4s hard done by Lavant

Romsey were disappointed to take nothing from this game, in which the scoreline did not reflect the play, and Romsey felt decisions didn’t quite fall their way.

An evenly balanced opening saw Lavant take the lead from a penalty corner, after a Romsey defender was sent to the half way line at the first taking for holding his stick in the air ahead of the goal line.  The man advantage was nearly cancelled out with Romsey clearing the ball first through Lukasz Suleja twice and then Andy Moger, but the ball stayed in side the circle for Lavant to force it past Ollie O’Hara in goal.

After O’Hara made a great save from a Lavant shot to avoid it becoming 2-0, Romsey went on the offensive.

Stan Cazaly weaved his way through the Lavant defence only to see his shot well saved by the keeper, and both Bryn Wathen and Barry Hatch had firm shots padded away.  Romsey almost equalised from a penalty corner but Matt Dukes shot was saved and the follow up cleared.

The second half started with Romsey still in attack mode, and as Sean Rawles played the ball to Colin Harwood from a penalty corner, he passed to Duke to swivel and shoot to make it 1-1.

The turning point in the game came mid-way through the half, after the Lavant keeper had been forced in to making two more fine saves from Wathen and Duke, Josh Harwood played a ball through to Stan Cazaly on the far post, he stopped the ball and pushed it past the keeper for 2-1.  With the ball at the centre cirlce and the teams lined up for the pushback, the Lavant umpire at the far end of the pitch consulted with his colleague and the goal was ruled out for a lifted ball.  This was harsh on Romsey, but with Lavant keen to win and providing both umpires, it was a pill they had to swallow.

As against the Isle of Wight a few weeks earlier, with 15 minutes to go, Lavant were awarded a penalty corner and as Ollie O’Hara saved the high flick it dropped to a Lavant player to push it over the line for 2-1 to the home side.

Romsey were crushed and while pushing for an equaliser, and reflecting on their goal that was disallowed, let Lavant have the run of the Romsey half and Lavant quickly scored four more goals with numbers overloading Romsey in the last ten minutes to provide a scoreline that did not reflect the game.

An interesting match awaits in 2019 at home for Romsey as Lavant push to win the league.

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