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Romsey win a Christmas cracker
ROMSEY Town won a Christmas cracker 4-3 against Fawley AFC at the Bypass Ground.
The Sydenhams Wessex Premier’s bottom club saw their 2-0 half-time lead cancelled out before second-half goals from Danny Phillips and Pete Walker ensured a memorable victory against their local rivals.
It was just reward for ensuring their game was one of the few local nonleague matches to survive the rain.
Romsey’s third win of the season is their second in as many home matches following their 4-2 win against Hayling United a fortnight ago.
And it was the perfect response to their 4-1 loss at Totton & Eling on Boxing Day.
But it was against the run of play that Romsey scored the first goals of the afternoon, Matt Austin and Craig Bryant netting twice in three minutes as half-time approached.
Romsey goalkeeper Elliott Broome had kept his side in the game, tipping behind a Lewis Ross strike before denying Ben Murray at the near post and saving an Arran Blaxall header from Steve Hall’s corner.
A minute after a Blaxall freekick struck a post, Romsey took the lead through MATT AUSTIN, who met Jack Garner’s crossfield ball with a firm header at the back post in the 39th minute.
Romsey soon doubled their lead. Livewire Danny Phillips put Walker through and the winger’s shot was tipped behind for a corner.
Walker took it and CRAIG BRYANT stabbed in from close range.
Fawley, playing their first game for three weeks, pulled a goal back four minutes into the second half, during which the pitch increasingly resembled a bog.
They went close when Elliott Earl’s header hit the top of the crossbar and a minute later STEVE HALL’s long-range strike flew past Broome and into the roof of the net.
It was all Fawley for the next ten minutes and PETE KEATING equalised on the hour, making no mistake from six yards after Broome had parried an effort at his near post.
But Romsey were not done there. Far from it. Within five minutes they had restored their lead following a deserved goal for DANNY PHILLIPS.
Matt Headington’s corner found its way to the diminutive striker as he lurked unmarked 12 yards out.
Phillips swept the ball first time into the far corner, a clinical left-footed strike in front of a bumper Bypass crowd boosted by the deluge of postponements across the county.
But within two minutes, Fawley had their second equaliser. When striker Leighton Spetchley-Price was adjudged to have been pulled back, LUKE WALKER sent Broome the wrong way from the penalty spot.
To their immense credit, Romsey belied their lowly status by responding positively once again. With 20 minutes to go, Bryant went close to netting his second when he hit the outside of a post with a 25-yard free-kick.
And in the 71st minute there were jubilant scenes in the Romsey dug out, when PETE WALKER drilled the winner across goal and into the bottom of the far corner from the edge of the penalty area.
Murray missed a one-on-one chance to hit Fawley’s third equaliser before Romsey celebrated a second win in three games. It takes them within a point of Lymington Town at the foot of the table.
More non-league in Monday's Daily Echo