Dereham Town 2 (0) - (1) 2 ROMFORD Attendance 202 - Aldiss Park
Romford managed to secure another valuable point in their battle against relegation at high flying Dereham Town.
With the Boro still rooted at the bottom of the table and without a win since September in the league, the last thing they needed was a long journey to Norfolk, with the Magpies sitting at the top of the table. However, it was another good display from the boys in blue and gold and they nearly turned the league table upside down with a valiant performance. After a slow start chance wise, Romford took the lead in the twelfth minute when a ball forward was flicked on by Carlos DJALO to Ola Giwa who burst forward before teeing up Jonathan NZENGO to fire home from the edge of the box and record his eighth goal of the season. The hosts were well and truly on the back foot as Nzengo went close with a low drive soon after and the Dereham defenders managed to get in some vital blocks to restrict Romford to just the one goal. On the half hour another Romford attack lead to Djalo having a shot deflected just over the bar while at the other end Dereham recorded their first shot on target with a low, tame drive that was easily saved by Stephen REYNOLDS in the Boro goal. Nzengo once again stung the keeper hands with a fierce drive before a Town forward fired wide of the far post after making space from a corner.
With news at the interval of Norwich United losing, a win would take Romford above them. BBC Radio Norfolk, who were broadcasting a live commentary on the game were shocked that a team as good as ours were anywhere near the bottom and things were looking promising, but unfortunately the second half started terribly for the visitors as Rhys Logan raced down the right before firing a shot towards goal that was initially saved by Reynolds, but Jamie Forshaw was on hand to head the loose ball home to make it all square. This did not deter Romford as Giwa had a shot deflected just wide and the game became more open as both teams were playing some good football while looking for a second goal. They also both made changes and after being on the pitch less than a minute Toby Hilliard was gifted the ball by a Reynolds miskick just on the edge of the box and fired low to give Dereham the lead. Romford were now struggling to get forward as Dereham sensed blood but were given a chance of an equaliser when Town keeper Elliot Pride picked up a back pass and the referee, who actually hailed from Dereham correctly awarded an indirect free kick. The ball was tapped a few yards sideways and Boro substitute Hugo ATKINSON was perfectly placed to smash a left footed shot home via a slight deflection to level the scores in the seventy-third minute. Sam MVEMBA and Djalo went close near the end for Romford but Dereham nearly snatched all three points when in the third minute of injury time Logan managed to make space in the area before firing towards goal but the Boro were relieved to see the ball clip the top of the bar and go over.
Two points from two good footballing teams looking for promotion had been an excellent week's work for Romford and they must hope that this new found belief and confidence will start propelling them up the table to safety.
DEREHAM TOWN (0) 2 FORSHAW 49, HILLIARD 67
ROMFORD (1) 2 Jonathan NZENGO 12, Hugo ATKINSON 73
ROMFORD: Stephen REYNOLDS, Ayo OLUKOGA, Sam MVEMBA, Danny COSSINGTON, Michael FINNERAN, James ISHMAIL, Garret KELLY, Jonathan NZENGO, Carlos DJALO, OLA GIWA, Connor HAMMOND (Hugo ATKINSON 66), SUBS NOT USED CHRIS TAYLOR, NICK REYNOLDS & ADAM MCGEORGE
YELLOW CARDS: Hugo ATKINSON 82, Garret KELLY 90+2