ROMSEY Town’s Sydenhams Premier future hangs by a thread after losing Saturday’s crucial basement ‘six-pointer’ 4-2 at home to Downton.
Despite bossing the first half-hour and leading through full-back Josh Green, Town lost their way in the latter stages of the first half and were pegged back 1-1 at half-time.
Downton carried that injection of confidence into the second half and, though Green equalised from a penalty after Romsey fell behind, Ross Gregory then conceded a penalty at the other end at the expense of a red card. Robins retook the lead from the spot and finally wore the ten men down to score a fourth late on.
Martin Johnson, Craig Lewis, Declan McGregor and Jamie Waters scored for Jeff Softley’s Downton, who remain bottom but are now level on 23 points with Romsey and Fawley.
“I’m hugely disappointed,” admitted Romsey co-boss John McFarlane. “With the way we’ve changed things lately and the reaction of the players, it was all shaping up for a really good performance.
Lost our discipline “We were good for the first half-hour, but then players started playing individually, we lost our discipline and allowed them back in.
“I could see the signs and thought that if we could get to half-time and refocus we could go out strong again for the second half. But Downton’s equaliser gave them the confidence they needed and, whereas before we were playing how we wanted and setting the tempo, the second half was a proper bottom-of-the-table dogfight.
“Unfortunately for us, Downton were stronger than we were and they’ve got the cutting edge of Declan McGregor who not only finishes but sets things up too.
“It was a massive game for us. If we’d won, it would have been enough to seal Downton’s fate.
“Totton & Eling have pulled away and Fawley have loads of games in hand. If Fawley win their next two and we lose on Saturday, that’s it.”
Romsey have just three games left and, ironically, their fate could be sealed away at McFarlane’s old club Blackfield & Langley on Saturday.
He smiled: “I’ve got a master plan on how to beat them, seeing as I know them all.”
Blackfield edged a close game 3-2 at Lymington Town on Saturday. Martin Warren (2) and substitute Josh Parry scored for the Watersiders, Dan Pancaldi and Liam Robinson hitting back.