ROMSEY Town co-manager John McFarlane believes the atrocious winter weather has been a blessing in disguise in his rapidly improving side’s bid for Sydenhams Premier Division survival, writes Tim Prescott.

After a run of just one defeat in their last seven games, Romsey moved 19th on Saturday, three points above the relegation zone – a revival which McFarlane believes began during the winter washout.

Romsey produced a well-drilled and ruthless performance to beat Horndean 3-0 through first half-goals from Ronan Galloway, Danny Philips and Elliot Richards in their latest step towards safety.

McFarlane said: “The recent wet weather was brilliant for us because it allowed us to bring in one or two new players, which has increased competition and meant we’ve been able to work hard on our shape in training.

“We were training every Tuesday and Thursday as we didn’t have any games and it has paid off because everyone now knows their roles and our shape is very good.

“You could see that in our performance. Horndean couldn’t cope with our attacking play, which is no accident because we have worked tirelessly on that side of our game.”

After a tense opening, Galloway headed Romsey in front before Philips quickly made it two and the emphatic win was sealed by Richards’ brilliant 20-yard strike.

Romsey held firm under Horndean pressure in the second-half to record a first clean sheet of the season, much to McFarlane’s delight.

He said: “I set them the target today of not conceding first, because we have done so in the last three games, and then trying to work towards a clean sheet. We’ve done both today, so we’re delighted.”

Horndean manager Dave Carter summed up: “It was a poor performance and a very disappointing result. We came here expecting to get something out of the game, but Romsey worked harder than us and deserved the win.”

However, it wasn’t all good news for Romsey last week, as they were deducted a point for fielding an ineligible player. David Maps played in a 1-1 draw at Horndean in November when he was meant to be serving a suspension.

The Bypass boys have had a tough week, with a 4-0 defeat at high-flying AFC POrtchester on Tuesday night, and it it is set to get even together as they were due to play champions-elect Sholing after the Advertiser went to press last night.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Bypass Boys are set to welcome in-form Folland Sports on Saturday.