ROMSEY Town slipped to 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Whitchurch United last Saturday as they misfired in front of goal despite dominating possession.

The sides had met just three weeks earlier when Town had claimed all three points at Longmeadow, but a dogged defensive display and some clinical finishing saw the Jam Boys gain revenge.

An early strike by Nick Yeomans and a late goal on the counter attack by substitute Ryan Long gave the score line a flattering look for the visitors in what Town’s Head Coach, Curtis Osborne described as ‘frustrating’ afternoon for the Bypass Boys.

Coach Osborne made just one enforced change to the line up that had chalked up victories in their previous two outings, as top scorer Jack Odam returned up front in place of the injured Liam Magee. Town were caught cold though in the fifth minute when both Bryant and Saunders missed headers and Cameron George raced clear before squaring the ball to Yeomans for a neat back post finish. The hosts took some time to get into their stride as Whitchurch pressed them and the visitors nearly added to their lead when Yeomans saw Town ‘keeper Valero was off his line and hit an outrageous shot from his own half that sailed just wide.

As the first half wore on Town gained the upper hand and Odam had a neat back heeled goal disallowed for offside, before Owen Holloway drew a brilliant diving save from teenage ‘keeper Harrison Mott when his curling shot from 20 yards look destined for the top corner of the net. The resulting corner brought more panic to visitors’ defence as they managed to hack the ball off the line to preserve their lead at the interval.

In the second half Romsey continued to see the lion’s share of the ball but lacked finishing quality in front of goal. A towering header by Bryant from a corner was safely gathered by the well positioned Mott. As the pressure mounted Town had three genuine penalty appeals turned down, first when Holloway was bundled over as he bore down on goal, then for handball and finally for a high challenge on Oliver Jenkins. A free kick from 25 yards by Geoff Dunn that looked certain to level matters until another acrobatic stop from Mott denied him.

With the Bypass Boys pressing forward in numbers a quick break by Whitchurch saw the powerful Long hold off Croucher and shoot past Valero in the 80th minute to seal the victory. Even then a stunning volley by Odam, that may have summoned a late rally for Town, was tipped over by Mott after a fine run and cross by Mark Fawley.

As the final whistle sounded, although Romsey may have had numerous shots only a few were on target and those that were found Mott to be in unbeatable form. The visitors well drilled defence, effective offside trap and ability to convert their limited chances witnessed them pull off a smash and grab to claim the three points.

Romsey travel to Hythe’s Clayfields Ground tomorrow (ko 3.00pm) where they will face league newcomers Infinity FC, before they return to The AEC Protection Ground next Tuesday (ko 7.45pm) to play Petersfield Town.