Hot-shot Lewis Birch notched a second consecutive hat-trick as Romsey took a step nearer Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 2 safety with an impressive 5-2 win over Old Kingstonian.

The result pushes Romsey into fourth from bottom spot – well clear of Haslemere, in the automatic relegation slot – but the Abbeymen probably need one more win to steer well clear of the danger area in the often confusing promotion and relegation system the South League employs.

It helped that OKs travelled south with a goalkeeper and only nine outfield players – but Romsey still trawled through treacle as they struggled to break through a deep lying visitors defence.

Birch gave Romsey a 2-0 interval lead, which two-goal Neil Strong later stretched to 4-0.

OKs got their two strikes either side of a 20th goal of the season by the in-form Birch, whose third came from a penalty.