ROMSEY Town pulled off the shock of the Sydenhams Premier Division season last night with a stunning 3-1 victory at league leaders Downton.
With the Wiltshire side starting the evening eight points clear at the top, it seemed foolhardy to predict anything other than a home win.
But bottom club Romsey had other ideas, unsettling the Wiltshire hosts with an outstanding second-half performance.
“For 20 to 25 minutes Downton were by far the better side and we were lucky to be 0-0 at that stage,” admitted Romsey’s assistant boss Carl Bennett.
“They had a (Vince Rusher) penalty saved by our goalkeeper Brad Snelling and then we had a penalty which Royce Reed put over the bar.
“They went ahead just before half-time (through Harvey Coker) and for the first five minutes of the sec ond half, we sat back a bit.
“But once we got into our rhythm, there was only one side going to win it. It was our performance of the season by a mile.
“The bottom line is that we were the better side.”
Matt Austin headed home the leveller from Danny Phillips’ assist and, with Downton then reduced to ten men following substitute Matt Holmes's red card, Austin struck again with a fantastic solo effort, racing through before unleashing a right- foot finish.
Bassett-based Austin could have had a hat-trick but unselfishly squared the ball for his former Sholing and Riverside teammate Phillips to crown a sensational victory. It lifts Romsey off the foot of the table, two points ahead of Lymington Town.
Downton’s demise spelt good news for Alresford Town who moved up to second spot last night and are just six points behind the leaders with a game in hand.
The Magpies ran out handsome 5-0 winners at Alton thanks to Warren Bentley, Dominic Cope, Chris Manning and two-goal Mike McEnery.
Newport IoW are up to fifth after winning 3-1 at AFC Portchester - Tom McInnes, John McKie and Alex Przespolewski the scorers.
Third to bottom New Milton (Danny Cox) lost 2-1 at Hamworthy United, leaving them just a point better off than Romsey.