Wessex Division One
Romsey Town 2
(Wayne Boud, Carlo Raucci)
New Milton Town 3
(Adam Luka x2, Ryan Ashford)
For weeks and weeks I have had Hamworthy United versus Team Solent pencilled in for tonight, but oh how plans chop and change! The A31 being closed between 9pm and 6am was enough for me to avoid heading anywhere near the Bournemouth direction so I had already started to look at potential fixtures to fill the void.
I was also wary about going too far having spent the best part of seven hours picking up my better half from Gatwick Airport. No mither getting there but a two hour delayed flight and hitting all the rush hour traffic on the way home wasn’t fun.
So by the time I had got home and quickly eaten some take out fish and chips, it left me approximately 15 minutes to get to a game, leaving me just one option, down to the Bypass Ground for Romsey Town against New Milton Town.
Now you could forgive me for spending the evening with my girlfriend after five days apart, however I wasn’t going to distract her from playing catch up with work that her untimely holiday had temporarily put a hold on. No one can accuse her of not working hard.
Now after last nights upsetting display at St Mary’s which ended my 128 consecutive games without a goalless draw, it was back to square one again and this game definitely didn’t disappoint, the highest scoring game of the month so far in five attempts.
Ryan Ashford’s last minute winner gave 10-man New Milton Town their first away win since October with a 3-2 victory over Romsey Town.
The home side took the lead on 32 minutes through Wayne Boud before Adam Luka pulled it level before the break.
Luka then put his side ahead within the first 30 seconds of the second half before Lyam Teixceira was given a second yellow card for a foul on Tommy Donaldson. Romsey substitute Carlo Raucci looked like he had rescued a point with four minutes remaining but Ryan Ashford popped up in stoppage time to send New Milton back into the forest with three points.
The game got off to a slow start, not helped by the rough and ready nature of the visitors who were definitely leaving their mark on a couple of the Romsey starting eleven.
Boud came close to opening the scoring for Romsey when captain Andy Turner dinked the ball over the defence and Boud went to lift it over Luke Somerscales but it just went high of the top corner.
Boud, who was playing a more central attacking role to his usual position out wide was in the right place again when George Sheath played a testing ball into the box before it was turned away for a corner.
New Milton went close up the other end when Steve Flynn got his head to the ball but it looped into Jordan Westbrook’s hands with little problem.
Romsey were forced into two early changes within minutes of each other, first Harry Draycott was replaced by Zak Pickett before Will Wiseman hobbled off after being on the end of a horrendous tackle from a visiting player, he was replaced by Jamie Way.
Immediately after the second change, Romsey took the lead when Donaldson swung in a lovely cross from the left wing and Boud was central and unmarked to push the header into the corner for the first goal of the night.
New Milton’s Dave Saunders went close with a header that Westbrook managed to tip over the bar, the chance looking more troubling than it ought to have been.
The equaliser did come when striker Adam Luka smashed in straight down the middle, it was hard to see what was going on in the crowded box but the ball seemed to bounce over Westbrook as he was diving for the corner, suggesting that it took a deflection.
The Linnets could have been ahead before half time when Romsey made a hash of clearing the ball and Flynn sent a header that was blocked at the near post before the ball was cleared off the line and away.
People still queuing for chips at half time may have missed the goal scored within seconds of the restart. Romsey had taken kick off and hoofed the ball to the New Milton defence who smashed the ball harder and higher up field and Luka was able to nip in and tuck the ball away to grab his second and put the visitors ahead.
There were some tough tackles flying about and when Donaldson was mauled to the ground by Teixceira he was shown a red card, giving his side the hard task of defending their slight advantage.
Romsey didn’t exploit the man advantage and didn’t seem to be creating enough to warrant an equaliser as Turner fired wide of the mark.
The visitors nearly grabbed a third when Flynn played the ball into Luka who fired it across the box and Way cleared out for a corner.
Pickett, who had come on in the first half was replaced for Raucci who did exactly what was expected of him as he poked the ball into the back of the net on 86 minutes. Indrit Elezi sent a cross into the box and Turner scuffed his shot but Raucci was there to avoid being offside and tap the ball past the ‘keeper.
Romsey should have been in the ascendency but also wary of protecting the point for the draw, however it was a smash and grab at the end when a ball went into the box from the right wing and Ashford was there to take a touch and put it into the net on 93 minutes to send the Linnets bench into a frenzy.
2016/17 Games: 105
2016/17 Grounds: 58 (9)
Total Grounds Visited: 153 (40)