Romsey Town head coach James Phillips admitted to being “totally frustrated” following his young side’s home defeat to US Portsmouth.

With 14 players from the first team squad unavailable for the weekend, Phillips (pictured right) had to field a side made up mostly of young players from the club’s Development Squad.

“It was a difficult situation,” said Phillips. “With so many first team players missing it was a case of putting out a team to try and compete well and hoping that we could get a good result. Lady Luck hasn’t been too kind to us today, but I felt we still dominated the ball for periods throughout the game, especially in the first half, put them under pressure and created chances.” For the first twenty minutes Romsey looked very comfortable and had hit the bar through Indrit Elezi, before some sloppy defending saw US Portsmouth take the lead with a free shot from 12 yards out.

Although Romsey responded well a short back-pass saw the visitors extend their lead on 32 minutes and, despite Romsey re-grouping admirably again, see it through to the half time break. Immediately after half time, things got worse for Town as a simple tap in from a low cross made it 3-0 and US Portsmouth made sure of victory after 50 minutes by netting a fourth. Despite the score line, Town continued to try and play their football and were unlucky again when Ollie Adams hit the woodwork with a 25-yard effort.

Elezi also saw a couple of well worked efforts fail to hit the target as Town couldn’t quite get the breakthrough some of their build-up play deserved.

“That was tough on the lads today,” said Phillips.

“We hit the bar twice and tried to claw ourselves back into the game but, fair play to them, they took their chances well and defended in numbers, making it very hard for us.

“We’ve had a difficult start to the season, but I know we’ll be fine. The opening game is always difficult with a brand new team and then, of course, we played a team a division above us last week in the FA Cup and now, this week, we’ve had 14 players missing for today, so it’s not been easy.

“The great thing is our supporters here today, of which there were many again, appreciated the style of football we’re playing and the effort the lads gave.

“They can see that we have the makings of a good side and that we just need that first result. “We’ll make sure we pick the players up this week in training ready to go and get a result next Saturday and hopefully with a full squad available our season can start to take off.” Romsey Town’s next game is home to Pewsey Vale at the By Pass Ground tomorrow with a 3pm kick-off.