ROMFORD 3 (2) - (0) 2 Grays Athletic Attendance 165 - Ship Lane
In a game Romford had to win, the boys in blue and gold delivered beating Grays three goals to two.
After Heybridge beat Norwich the previous night Romford knew they had to win both of their remaining games and still rely on other results to stay up. Paul Martin welcomed back keeper Rob BUDD who missed the defeat against Brentwood and also brought Greg AKPELE back in up front. From the first moment everyone knew there was only going to be one winner and that was Romford. They were quicker, better and hungrier than Grays and deservedly took the lead in the eighth minute. Kris NEWBY took a short corner to Carlos DJALO who ran into the box and despie scuffing his cross, Chris TAYLOR was on hand to get a faint touch and the ball trickled into the far corner. It could have been much worse for the visitors when in the twenty-third minute a poor clearance from the Grays keeper was cut out by Kris NEWBY who sent a forty yard shot over the backpedalling stopper but the ball cannoned off the bar and Akpele was unable to convert the rebound. Just after the half hour Romford did finally double their lead with a move of blistering pace and skill. Right back Jonathan NZENGO intercepted a ball just on the edge of his own box and raced forward before releasing Akpele down the right wing. After beating his man the striker pulled the ball back to Nzengo (who had somehow managed to get up in attack) and under heavy pressure he dummied for Carlos DJALO who was better position and the free scoring forward powered the ball home from the edge of the box. Right on half time Grays had their first efforts on goal but Budd was on hand to twice tip the ball over, more for precaution than being in any real danger.
Djalo should have grabbed his second goal just after the break but shot over when he had more time while at the other end Budd made a great save low down to keep Grays at bay. The visitors were forcing their way back in to things but Budd and the Boro defence held firm with some great defending and good keeping. In the seventy-fourth minute Romford won a free kick down the left wing and Kris NEWBY's cross was headed up rather than out and Akpele acrobatically fired the ball home to give the Boro a three goal lead. With ten minutes to go keeper Budd was injured and Gray pulled one back through Wade Thomas and in the third minute of injury time Kieran Bishop grabbed a second for the visitors to leaving the home fans biting their nails for thirty-seconds before the referee blew the final whistle.
So after 45 matches it goes down to the final game, Romford have to win and hope that Norwich are unable to beat Cheshunt. Finger, arms, legs and eyes should all be crossed and lets all prey.
ROMFORD (2) 3 Chris TAYLOR 8, Carlos DJALO 32, Greg AKPELE 74
GRAYS ATHLETIC (0) 2 THOMAS 80, BISHOP 90+3
ROMFORD: Rob BUDD, Jonathan NZENGO, Sam MVEMBA, Tom POTTER, Nathan OKOYE, Danny COSSINGTON, Ayo OLUKOGA, Chris TAYLOR, Carlos DJALO (Nick REYNOLDS 90), Greg AKPELE (Ernest OKOH 74), Kris NEWBY SUBS NOT USED MARIO GJINI, AKWASI MARFO & KAI HEATHER