Romsey Town 7-1 Totton & Eling 

Town skipper Craig Bryant grabbed a second half hat-trick at The AEC Protection Ground on Tuesday evening as a rampant Romsey put local rivals Totton & Eling to the sword with a 7-1 demolition.

In what proved to be an incident packed match, the hosts raced into an early lead when Totton’s ‘keeper fumbled a curling cross from Geoff Dunn that slipped from his grasp and over the goal line.

The game flowed from end to end with Romsey gradually applying more pressure and Totton’s George Plank received a caution when he hauled down livewire winger Tiago Moreno on the edge of the box.

The free kick was fired just wide, but Town doubled their lead in the 40th minute when after a superb run a Charlie Hawes’ right wing cross picked out Moreno who headed in from close range.

Before the restart the referee sent Totton’s Yeadon to the sin bin for ten minutes and Town capitalised by bagging a third goal in the 44th minute, when defender Ethan Madden soared at the back post to power Dunn’s corner into the net. The visitors’ woes were compounded when Plank clattered into Liam Magee and a second yellow saw him dismissed on the stroke of half-time.

It took just six minutes into the second half for Romsey to score a fourth goal when Craig Bryant sent the ‘keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot after Magee’s heels were clipped as he advanced on goal. Town were in no mood to let up and in the 55th minute, Jo Sutherden’s corner rebounded off the post and Bryant gleefully smashed the ball into the net from ten yards. Sutherden added his name to the scoresheet in the 62nd minute when his close range header crept over the line after the ‘keeper had pushed it onto the post.

With the game sewn up, Town boss Andy Samuels introduced three substitutes and from a Romsey corner Totton broke away and grabbed a consolation goal scored by Yeadon. The Bypass Boys delighted the home fans in the 90th minute when another Sutherden corner was met by a towering header from Bryant to complete his perfect hat-trick of right foot, left foot and headed goals, to add a seventh goal to record his side’s biggest victory of the season. The referee capped his own busy evening when he sin binned Town’s ‘keeper Miles Bartram, but his stand in Sutherden was not called into action as the final whistle blew.

This match marked Liam Magee’s 150th starting appearance for Romsey and he enjoyed one of his best performances of the season, giving Totton’s defence a torrid time as he made a major contribution to Town’s success on the evening.

Romsey remain tenth in the Division One table and travel to the Isle of Wight to face Newport tomorrow, before hosting Andover Town next Tuesday evening (ko 7.45pm) as they seek to launch a late run for a playoff spot.