ROMFORD (0) 1 - 1 (0) Sudbury Attendance 54 - Ship Lane
By Gary Redwin
After a very delayed start both sides still managed to produce an entertaining game that eventually ended all square.
Most of the Sudbury team arrived late due to an earlier accident on the M25 impacting on all the local roads and the match eventually kicked off at 4.20pm, but sitting for ages in traffic had not seem to have effected the visitors who made all the early running and should have taken the lead shortly after proceedings finally got going. Horne dribbled across the edge of the box before unleashing a cross shot that came back off the post after eleven minutes and the Romford defence were equally as generous in allowing Sudbury to create more good chances, but they blazed their efforts high and wide of Rob BUDD's goal. Towards the end of the half Boro finally woke up and produced some sustained attacks. Chiduben ONOKWAI tested Sudbury keeper Walker, but Greg AKPELE came nearest when the ball was taken off his toe after skilfully bringing it down in the goalmouth and then a minute before the interval his snapshot was only just diverted around the post by Walker's fingertips.
A slight change of tactics were heralded by Romford substituting Sam MVEMBA for Kwasi Marfo during the break and the second half began with both teams noticeably stepping up the pace. Boro put the pressure on with a number of corners but they fell behind after fifty three minutes when, as has happened many times this season they were caught out by a swift breakaway. One of their corners was put into a dangerous area in the Sudbury goalmouth but a defender managed to hit a huge clearance upfield where it was eventually latched onto by Kelly. He still had plenty to do but showed a tremendous burst of pace to get clear into the Romford area and drive the ball home at the near post.
Boro nearly replied immediately through Kai HEATHER, and then a short corner routine ended with him taking the ball along the goal line and seeing his shot from a tight angle well saved by man of the match Walker. There was some controversy when Ayo OLUKOGA looked to have equalised after getting on the end of Danny COSSINGTON's chip over the defence, but it was ruled out although the general consensus of opinion from spectators in line was that the linesman was actually flagging another Romford player who was not interfering with play. But Olukoga was not to be denied and after seventy nine minutes he gleefully crashed home an unstoppable shot after collecting a nice little flicked lay off from Onokwai.
As the game was drawing to a close Budd had to be alert to save a fierce Sudbury shot and at the other end Akpele put in a clever effort that appeared to be curling into the top corner before being pushed clear by Walker. And then for the second match running there seemed to have been another serious injury to a Romford player in the very last seconds as inspirational skipper Cossington had to be stretchered off after foiling a Sudbury attack. Apart from that worrying incident the spectators who braved the traffic chaos had been rewarded with an excellent spectacle and Romford will probably feel slightly unfortunate not to have not taken all three points off very good opponents from the top half of the table, but time is now running out for them to catch the other relegation candidates and the upcoming Easter programme will be crucial.
ROMFORD (0) 1 Ayo OLUKOGA 79
AFC SUDBURY (1) 1 KELLY 53
Team: Rob BUDD, Jonathon Nzengo, Kwasi Marfo (Sam MVEMBA 46), Danny COSSINGTON (c), Tom POTTER (Chris TAYLOR 80), Ayo OLUKOGA, Kai HEATHER, Mario GJINI (Nathan OKOYE 70), Chiduben ONOKWAI, Ernest OKOH, Greg AKPELE
Unused Subs: Craig Jeakins, Harry Daly