ROMFORD 1 (0) - (2) 5 Heybridge Swifts Attendance 127 - Ship Lane
Romford's opening home fixture of the season ended in defeat as a prolific Heybridge Swifts smashed five goals to go top of the league.
The hosts named an unchanged team after securing a solid draw away at Bury on Saturday but were unable to match that performance. Heybridge who struggled last season looked a totally different team and dominated the game from start to finish. Spear headed by Luke Callander and Sam Bantick, the visitors took their chances well and caused all sorts of problems for the Boro defence.
In the first minute Callander had his first sight at goal but headed just wide from a right wing cross, while Romford played well for the opening fifteen minutes but their final ball let them down. Michael GOOCH was on hand to make an excellent double stop in the twentieth minute but the Boro keeper was at fault for the opener, letting a low shot from Bantick squeeze through at his near post to give Swifts the lead. Romford pushed forward but for all their good work, they looked exposed on the counter and after Jonathan NZENGO's shot was cleared they need Gooch to turn an effort past the post. From the resulting corner Callendar was left unmarked and headed home to double the lead for Heybridge. Five minutes before half time Romford nearly got back in the game when Jamie DICKS' near post corner was nearly turned in by Nick REYNOLDS. Unfortunately for Romford's leading goal scorer the Swifts keeper managed to get his foot to the ball on the goal line and cleat it from danger.
Romford tweaked their tactics for the second half and looked better but Heybridge were just to good on the day. It was three nil just past the hour when the hosts lost the ball in midfield and Juan Luque smashed the ball in to the net from the left hand side of the penalty area. Romford were thankful to Gooch who produced an excellent reflex save to keep the score down moments later. Manager Paul Martin changed things for the hosts with a double substitution and it produced an immediate result. Dicks received the ball just outside the area and tried to slip in the Romford forward however, the ball was deflected into the path of Nzengo who just beat the defender and keeper to the ball then following up his effort that was trickling towards goal, just to make sure. That was as good as it got for the Boro as two more late goals from the visitors put a gloss on the score line and moved them top of the pile after two games. Romford will not be too down heartened after some neat play but will need to find a clinical edge in front of goal to match the big boys.
ROMFORD (0) 1 Jonathan NZENGO 71
HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS (2) 5 BANTICK 21, CALLENDAR 25, LUQUE 62, 81, CHATTING 90
ROMFORD: Michael GOOCH, Ryan BURT-ALLEN, Hugo ATKINSON, Tom VICKERS, Danny COSSINGTON, Jamie DICKS, Ayo OLUKOGA, Daniel AKANDE, Chris TAYLOR (Jonathan ADEBAYO 68), Nick REYNOLDS (Richmond AYOOLA 68), Jonathan NZENGO SUBS NOT USED STEPHEN REYNOLDS, BEN CLARKE, OLAKUNLE GIWA