Maldon & Tiptree 1 (0) - (0) 2 ROMFORD Attendance 87 - Park Drive
Romford continued their amazing 2018 turnaround in form with a great victory at promotion chasing Maldon.
The Jammers are a good footballing side and were lying fourth in the table at the commencement of play, so it was not a huge surprise that they enjoyed the majority of the possession in an entertaining first half. They came close to scoring after five minutes as Stephen REYNOLDS was forced into a good diving save when a nice back heel wrong footed the Boro defence, allowing a forward to get off a crisp shot that was heading in until Reynolds' intervention. From then on the home team seemed to lack a cutting edge to match their smart build up play as they came up against a Romford back line once again well marshalled by the Michael FINNERAN and Danny COSSINGTON centre back combination. In between times Boro had some fast breakaways, mostly down the right and lead by Ayo OLUKOGA but they in turn were often foiled by a very polished left sided defensive display by Harvey Brown. The best chance for the visitors came when Harry DALY shot narrowly over after Connor HAMMOND's cross and just before half time when Olukoga set up Ola Giwa for a turn and shot that was deflected and had Maldon keeper Tim Brown scrambling back across goal to push the ball around the post.
The second period saw a much stronger start from Romford and they took the lead after fifty two minutes when Brown slightly mistimed his charge out to collect a through ball and collided with Jonathon Nzengo who was looking favourite to reach it. The ball bounced loose to Harry DALY just outside the area and he calmly lobbed it over the off balance keeper into the empty net. It was Boro now who were passing the ball about with confidence and twelve minutes later they were two goals to the good when Daly's inswinging free kick was glanced in by the head of Chris TAYLOR after his perfectly timed run.
Maldon were shellshocked,but they still had plenty of time to get something out of the game and once again began to put Romford under some tremendous pressure. The Boro back four were putting their bodies on the line to block shots and crosses and Billy COYNE was using all his experience in front of the defence to help stem the tide. Meanwhile Romford's hard running forwards were still fashioning good breakaways and if anything were creating the clearer chances with Taylor going close and Cossington only able to direct his header straight at Brown after a tremendous leap above everybody else in the goalmouth following a corner.
After seventy nine minutes the Boro defence was finally breached as a low cross from the right beat everybody, leaving a simple side foot in from close range for Olu Akinsaya. Now it was to be a nervous final period, but probably more for the sizeable contingent of Romford supporters than their team who were still playing with the renewed confidence of recent weeks. As a unit they stayed organised to see out the remaining minutes for another notable victory.
MATCH REPORT BY PHIL REDWIN
MALDON & TIPTREE (0) 1 AKINSAYA 79
ROMFORD (0) 2 Harry DALY 52, Chris TAYLOR 64
Team: Stephen REYNOLDS, Ayo OLUKOGA, Sam MVEMBA, Danny COSSINGTON, Michael FINNERAN (c), Billy COYNE, Harry DALY, Jonathan NZENGO, Chris TAYLOR (James ISHMAIL 83), Connor HAMMOND (Nick REYNOLDS 90), Ola Giwa (Bryan KYUNGU 83)
Unused Sub: Hugo Atkinson
Yellow Cards: 65 Connor HAMMOND, 88 Harry DALY