Last Saturday’s clash with fellow promotion chasers Alresford Town ended with honours even as Romsey Town recorded their first goalless draw of the season to remain sixth in the Wessex League Division One table. 

The goal drought was in stark contrast to the previous weekend’s 4-4 draw at Ringwood Town, but this time Town had to make do with keeping their fourth clean sheet of the season as they shaded a game in which they could not make that elusive breakthrough. 

Proceedings at this Remembrance Day fixture began with wreath laying by Romsey Town, whose shirts were adorned by the poppy symbol, and an impeccably observed minute’s silence.

Injuries to key defenders continued to limit boss Andy Samuels’ selection options and saw experienced utility player Joao Aldeano partnering skipper Craig Bryant at centre back. A cagey opening period ended when Town’s Rukky Diejomaoh fired a shot just wide from 20 yards before ‘keeper Miles Bartram tipped away a Magpies’ free kick for a corner. Romsey had to wait until the 34th minute for their first corner as both sides struggled to find an end product to match their promising approach work and Josh Jeffrey’s neat turn in the box followed by an effort skied over the bar summed up this situation. Jeffrey almost broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime as his long range shot was deflected and had the hosts’ ‘keeper at full stretch to preserve parity.

Town enjoyed their best spell at the start of the second half and came close to scoring when a Magpies’ defender’s attempted clearance of a cross only just cleared the bar and as his ‘keeper missed his punch from the resultant corner, Aldeano and Owen Taylor converged on the loose ball but between them contrived to steer it wide. Next Jeffrey saw another goalbound strike deflected for a corner from which Bryant’s near post header went just wide as Romsey piled on the pressure.

A surging run past two defenders into the penalty area by Billy Brackley saw him brought down when about to shoot, but Romsey’s justifiably vociferous claims for a penalty were waved away by the referee. Goalmouth action was then at a premium as both sides lacked quality and creativity in the final third until a fierce drive by Alresford’s left back required a fingertip save from Bartram. He  produced another fine save to deny their centre forward and when McLean tried to feed his teammate having rounded Bartram on the right edge of the box, Bryant was on hand to make a vital clearance in the final action. 

Romsey are back in home action tomorrow at The AEC Protection Ground when Ash United are the visitors (ko 3pm) before welcoming Ringwood Town next Tuesday evening (ko7.45pm).