Romsey 3rd XI vs Salisbury 4th XI

First things first. I was handed the skipper’s armband before we’d even left our club to travel to Romsey…..oh woe is me! I’m far too old and unfit to be captaining any side, and it’s hard enough concentrate on my own game, let alone everyone else’s. Anyway, off we went…..usual magical mystery tour.

On arrival, we duly changed into our away strip……black. Good job it wasn’t sunny and really, really hot…………oh…that’s right, it was! After a brief introduction and warm up….the game started. First of all, I’d like to say thanks to the umpires. I thought they performed fantastically, and what common sense to suggest that we break the game up into quarters so that everyone can take on a drink….what a difference that made. Very good!

The game started, and right from the off it appeared that both teams were quite evenly matched. I think we had more possession in the first and second quarters of the game, but Romsey had some great breakaways, which, but for some last ditch defending, could have seen us two or three nil down. As it was, we went into half time one nil ahead. Nice goal, converting the pressure that we’d had, by keeping them camped in their half most of the time. That being said, when Romsey had the ball, they certainly passed it around better than we did, and their running off of the ball was more evident…….all of which was discussed during the half time team talk.

The second half (or quarters three and four) was a very different affair. While we still had a fair amount of pressure, Romsey’s quick breakaways were more frequent and more threatening, culminating in their first goal from a penalty corner, and their second not long after, from one of our penalty corners, which broke down and on a quick break away, Romsey outnumbered us and made it look very easy to score the goal they did. Our defending on that occasion was exceptionally poor, but that shouldn’t take anything away from Romsey’s attacking. At times afterwards, we seemed camped in and around the edge of their D, but not at any point could we find that final shot, or win the number of penalty corners that we should have. I wastefully flicked the ball at one of our few corners, while that final pass continued to eldude us. Romsey’s counter attacking style led to them having some sustained pressure towards the end of the game, and although we battled well, I have to say Romsey thoroughly deserved the win.

From my own point of view…it was a great game, played in great weather and umpired really well. I enjoyed every second of it, despite really not wanting the captain’s armband. Mentions should go to our joint man of the match winners. First…Neil Twentyman….official captian, and shurker of the armband. The reason he passed the armband on, was because we had no goalkeeper, and very unselfishly, he put himself in goal, despite having never played there before. What surprised even him, was exactly how good he was. And he was good…..I should know, I’ve played in front of many, many good goalies. He deserved his man of the match award. Secondly, to our other joint man of the match……….Sam Parker. Solid wherever he plays on the pitch, he did a sterling job at the back, and pushing forward, yesterday. Greater things beckon for young Sam, and so he’s off to one of the higher sides in the club. So….good luck Sam, and don’t forget……………Noddy and I know your SECRET!!!! Haaaaahaaaaa!!!

So thanks Romsey for a great game, and all the Salisbury players….well done. Just need a little bit more next week, plus a better captain!

Your thoughts are much appreciated..........Thanks!