ROMFORD 1 (1) - (0) 0 Haringey Borough Attendance 115 - Ship Lane
Romford manager Paul Martin celebrated his 500th game in charge with a hard earned point against unbeaten Haringey.
It was a night of reflection and celebration at Ship Lane as each of the Romford squad wore a black armband decorated with a poppy and the name of an ex-Boro player who had served his country in either World War. Before the match Paul Martin was presented with an award and a golden bottle of bubbly to celebrate his magnificent achievement while Terry Felton, Bob Knightly and David Haley were also in attendance to present the club with a cheque for the proceeds of the sale of memorabilia donated by the late John Haley. John was Secretary of the old club for many years and co-author with Terry of the series of club history books, the final edition of which will be launched later in the month.
Despite still being at the foot of the division Romford had been playing well in recent weeks but Haringey, who are unbeaten in league matches so far this season would be a tough test, yet things started really well when a long ball forward was flicked on by the head of a visiting defender and straight into the path of Connor HAMMOND who smashed the ball low and into the back of the net after nine minutes. Minutes later and Romford had a bit of good fortune that had been eluding them all season as Stephen REYNOLDS made a good save from close range, with the ball then hitting the bar and dropping over. Unfortunately things didn’t go too well for young Harry DALY who eventually had to limp off after twenty minutes with a leg injury sustained inside the first ten seconds of the game. Romford were spending a lot of time on the back foot and around the half hour mark Reynolds twice made flying saves to beat the ball out from efforts, while a goalmouth scramble was eventually cleared. Haringey were creating lots of opportunities but their heading especially, left a lot to be desired as they missed three glorious chances to equalise without even hitting the target. The visitor’s right winger then had a great chance to get in on goal as he beat the offside trap but Sam MVEMBA did well to put the player off at the decisive moment. It was not all Haringey though, as Boro forward Carlos DJALO showed some fantastic skill to create a chance for Jonathan NZENGO but the Haringey defender got back just in time to make a goal saving block. In first half injury time Haringey smashed the woodwork again with a thunderous drive that Reynolds got the slightest of touches to and Romford went in ahead at the interval.
The second half started how everyone thought it would with Romford defending for their lives, but as the half wore on play opened up and it was the hosts creating more chances. Djalo fired straight at the keeper from a tight angle and Hammond went close with a header. At the other end Reynolds could not stop the Haringey forward who broke through and rounded him but luckily Danny COSSINGTON was on hand to clear the ball off the line. With thirteen minutes to go Nzengo nearly doubled Romford’s lead with a curling effort from the edge of the box but the goalkeeper made a great save and from the resulting corner Djalo’s effort was blocked. With seven minutes left on the clock Haringey finally made space from the right wing and his low cross was easily tapped home by Anthony McDonald. The result leaves Romford still bottom, but the solid performances they have put in during recent times should soon bring the victories they deserve.
ROMFORD (1) 1 Connor HAMMOND 9
HARINGEY BOROUGH (0) 1 MCDONALD 83
ROMFORD: Stephen REYNOLDS, Ayo OLUKOGA, Sam MVEMBA, Danny COSSINGTON, Michael FINNERAN, James ISHMAIL (Nick REYNOLDS 89), Garrett KELLY, Jonathan NZENGO, Carlos DJALO, Harry DALY (OLA GIWA 20), Connor HAMMOND (Chris TAYLOR 72) SUBS NOT USED PAUL MARTIN & HUGO ATKINSON