SATURDAY’S 1-1 draw between Romsey Town and Fawley AFC was the classic ‘game of two halves’ which, according to Bypass Ground boss Carl Bennett, did nobody any favours.
With the pair fighting for their lives at the foot of the Sydenhams Premier, a three-point haul for either side would have done wonders for their survival chances.
But there was little to choose between them as Town’s Ross Gregory had his first-half header cancelled out by Fawley’s Jake Percival early in the second period.
It keeps rock-bottom Romsey three points adrift of the Oilers having played three games more. And with Downton and Totton & Eling just one and two points better off than Fawley respectively, it looks like any two of four to go down.
“We should have been three up at half-time,” said Bennett. “Sayem Kabir’s effort came off the bar and their ’keeper said it was in. Danny Phillips had a shot saved that was going into the top corner and Craig Bryant’s put a free header over.
“But it was definitely a game of two halves. The weather changed dramatically after half-time and we had a gale blowing in our faces.
“Around the 88th minute both sides had a chance to win it. For us, David Maps has headed over from Jordan Parker’s cross.
“A draw’s no good for either of us and what really disappointed me was that the referee was card happy and was booking players for nothing.
“We had seven players booked, all for silly stuff.
“The game was played in good spirit between two struggling teams looking for a win.
“I said ‘good luck’ to Colin (Lane, Fawley boss) afterwards and said hopefully one of us will get out of it.”
For the Oilers it was their first taste of action for a month.
“We were a bit rusty in the first half,” admitted chairman Kevin Mitchell.
“With conditions as they were, it was one of those games where anything could have happened, so you’d settle for a point.
“Having come back from 2-0 down to beat Brockenhurst 4-2 on December 28, it would have been good to play again quickly. But when you haven’t played for four weeks, you lose the momentum.”
Fawley gave new midfield signing Callum Tanner a run-out off the bench and Mitchell said: “He looked very impressive.”
Both teams return to league action on Saturday – Fawley at home to Bournemouth Poppies and Romsey away to AFC Portchester.