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Romeo pleased with a point as Thatcham draw with 10-man Hanworth Villa

Thatcham Town boss Yashwa Romeo admitted he’d have taken a point before the Kingfishers 1-1 draw with Hanworth Villa on Saturday.

Thatcham were without suspended skipper Josh Blackwood, injured attacker Jordan Brown and goalkeeper Callum Smart, who was recalled by parent club Gosport Borough after their regular number one was sent off last week. To make matters worse, full-back Tinashe Gwavava was ruled out the night before and Romeo’s side could only muster three substitutes.

The Kingfishers went behind after 21 minutes when Sam Merson slid in Kyen Nicholas and the former Hartley Wintney frontman fired beyond goalkeeper John O’Sullivan, who was drafted in to replace the absentee Smart.

Thatcham Town boss Yashwa Romeo was satisfied with Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Hanworth Villa
Thatcham Town boss Yashwa Romeo was satisfied with Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Hanworth Villa

However Thatcham rallied after the break when in-form Harry Hoath blasted into the roof of the net in the 52nd minute. Just five minutes later goalkeeper Gary Ross went down injured before being sent off for dissent, leaving Hanworth down to 10 men and outfielder Ben Merson forced to go in goal.

The visitors were unable to make the most of the man advantage as neither side managed to fashion a clear-cut chance in the final half an hour as Thatcham extended their unbeaten run to four matches.

“If you’d offered me a point beforehand, I’d have taken it,” Romeo said.

“It was a bit of a nightmare week and we had a really depleted squad.

“I had to give the boys a few home truths at half time and they came out all guns blazing.

“They went down to 10 men and from that point we were always in control of the game, but we never really tested them.

“We gave it our all but we made a few bad decisions in good situations.

“I was happy to come away with a draw given the circumstances.”

Romeo was able to recruit goalkeeper John O’Sullivan, who featured in the memorable draw with Walton and Hersham on the final day of last season, while Callum Smart deputised at Gosport Borough.

He said: “John did a job for us at the end of last season, and to be fair to him he came in and did the same thing again at the weekend.”

Goalscorer Harry Hoath continues to be a real positive for the Kingfishers. Having added some height and physicality to Thatcham’s front line, the 19-year-old striker now looks to be adding goals to his game on a more consistent basis.

“He’s made a big impact,” Romeo said.

“One of the big things he’s helped us with, and one of the big things we needed to address from last year, is being that bit more physical and winning more headers.

“In all fairness, he probably should be our top goalscorer. He’s got to be that bit more ruthless, but he always gets in the right areas. He’ll get there.”

Thatcham, who are 12th in the Isthmian League South Central, host seventh placed Hartley Wintney on Saturday before a run of three successive games against sides below them in the league.

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