THE song ‘I get knocked down (but I get up again)’ could well have been penned for Romsey Town.
Having been punched back to the bottom of the Sydenhams Premier by three heavyweight defeats against title contenders Blackfield, Moneyfields and Hamble, even manager Danny Barker had his doubts they would recover.
But Town bounced off the ropes on Saturday with a 2-1 home win over fellow strugglers Alton Town to breathe fresh life into their survival bid.
“Just when we seem to be dead and buried, we pull something out of the bag,” said Barker.
“I’m not saying we’ll escape relegation, all we’re doing is giving ourselves a chance.
“I’m fully aware that teams around us have got games in hand, but Saturday’s was a massive win for us and full credit to our lads for coming through a real difficult afternoon.”
Having bossed the opening stages, Romsey fell behind to a Simba Mlambo goal midway through the first half and were still in arrears at the break. But Barker made a couple of tactical changes and they paid off when reserve team graduate Luke Harry made it 1-1 from new signing Mike Snelgrove’s through ball.
That set the scene for a well-deserved winner scored by influential skipper Richie Hayter, who headed home a corner.
Saluting the captain, Barker said: “Richie’s a very experienced player who’s been with the club a few years and he stuck with us when he could have left during the summer.
“His commitment’s been outstanding and he helped our younger lads through on Saturday.
“(Former GE Hamble keeper) Nick O’Donnell made his debut in goal and he rolled back the years with his experience.
“It wasn’t the greatest performance by us, but the biggest satisfaction is the spirit we’ve got.”
Next up for Romsey is Saturday’s crucial relegation ‘six-pointer’ at home to New Milton, who have dropped back to the foot of the Wessex Premier table.