Romsey Town brought an emphatic end to their four match Division One losing streak with a convincing 5-2 win at Clanfield last Saturday. 

The Bypass Boys found the all-weather surface at Havant & Waterlooville’s Westleigh Park, where Clanfield groundshare, very much suited to their brand of passing football and, notwithstanding a couple of defensive lapses, dictated proceedings on an afternoon that saw bright sunshine replaced by a downpour.

Town shared the goals around with five different names on the scoresheet as boss Andy Samuels shuffled his depleted squad and named a ninth different centre back pairing this season. After Alex Wilson snuffed out a dangerous early Clanfield attack with a decisive challenge, it was Romsey who carried the threat and young Ash Wright in the hosts’ goal soon had to make made successive close range saves from Liam Magee. With 20 minutes played Magee drew another superb save from Wright but this time Josh Gibson was on hand to lash home the rebound. Next it was Josh Jeffrey’s turn to see a goalbound effort tipped away by Wright, who then brilliantly palmed away Ockwell’s downward header from a corner as the pressure mounted. However, it was Clanfield who grabbed a surprise equaliser, when ‘keeper Miles Bartram’s clearance from hand struck an opponent in close proximity and as the young stopper protested Clanfield seized the chance to play in the unmarked Penfold who levelled the scores. The first half drama was not over though as with seconds remaining Charlie Hawes drilled a shot from the corner of the box beyond Wright’ despairing dive to restore Town’s lead. 

Town were soon on the front foot in the second half and Geoff Dunn was unlucky to see his shot cannon off the post but in the ensuing tussle for possession Jo Sutherden was brought and the referee awarded a penalty, which Sutherden duly despatched to give Town a two goals’ cushion in the 50th minute. Just seven minutes later and Romsey were four goals to the good when a viciously inswinging corner from Billy Brackley evaded  Wright and Ethan Madden headed into the goal from five yards out. In the next attack Jeffrey made a darting run from midfield shaking off three defenders only to see his shot the post, but in the 80th minute he added the Bypass Boys’ fifth goal when from Diejomaoh’s pass he was able to flick the ball past Wright and just inside the far post as both players collided and needed treatment. With virtually the final action of the match, Ockwell lost possession near the halfway line and one pass later Towse was one on one with Bartram and slipped the ball past him for the consolation goal his performance merited. 

Town boss Andy Samuels was in an upbeat mood when reflecting on the victory, “It was pleasing to get back to winning ways and a much better performance to go with it. We moved the ball much better and if it wasn’t for some outstanding saves by the Clanfield ‘keeper, we could’ve been 5 or 6 ahead at half time. We started the second half really well and starting games after long stoppages or restarts is something we’ve struggled with of late. It’s important we build more consistency now and hopefully start another unbeaten run continuing against a very good Fleetlands side tomorrow.” Kick off at The AEC Protection Ground is at 3pm when Romsey in sixth welcome eighth place Fleetlands.