ROMFORD 3 (2) - (0) 0 Great Wakering Rovers Attendance 116 - Rookery Hill
By Gary Redwin
Romford eased to a three goals to nil victory on their opening game of the new season.
Two goals in the first ten minutes actually sent Boro to the top of the table for a while, and both were well worked and a delight to watch as the team were showing a lot of attacking creativity against a Great Wakering side who had been promoted as Essex Senior League champions. After five minutes a neat passing move down the right ended with one of the debutants, Rodney LEMBA laying the ball off to the vastly experienced Kris NEWBY who took a couple of paces and then surprised the Wakering keeper with a left footed snapshot into the corner from the edge of the area.
The game also marked a very welcome return to the club for one of Romford's all time top goalscorers, Kurt SMITH and four minutes later another good move, this time down the left saw him receive the ball and beat his man before dinking a lovely cross into the mouth of the goal where an onrushing Jonathan NZENGO was able to nod in from close range.
The visitors were playing some decent football of their own as they tried to get back into the game but Paul Martin's bold defensive selection of a keeper and back four of young newcomers were looking organised and disciplined. They were also well protected in midfield by senior men Danny COSSINGTON, Chris TAYLOR and Newby who were everywhere, covering and shutting down promising Wakering moves and pushing forward to support the attack with Newby especially putting some great long passes into dangerous areas.
On the half hour Boro should have really gone further ahead when Nzengo hit the post from an acute angle and Lemba miscued slightly and sent the rebound over the bar, but then immediately Wakering had a golden opportunity to get back into the game as they won a penalty. However Rhys HUGHES did not have to make a save as the spot kick was fired high and wide of the goal.
The second half began more even with Romford consolidating and Hughes having to make one or two smart saves but after the early loss of Toby BARLOW to injury his replacement, Greg AKPELE just added to the attacking threat and his ball skills created a couple of half chances for himself which he came very near to converting. The midfield trio were again becoming more and more dominant as the game wore on and it was put to bed after seventy three minutes when a powerful run into the box by another substitute, Ernest OKOH set up Lemba in front of goal where he made no mistake.
So a great start for Romford at their new (but hopefully, temporary) home and they can now look forward with confidence to next Saturday's trip to Bury Town
ROMFORD: Rhys HUGHES, Nathan JOSEPH, Toby BARLOW (Greg AKPELE 47), George FORREST, Jamie MARSH, Danny COSSINGTON, Chris TAYLOR, Kris NEWBY, Rodney LEMBA (Max BOLTON 88), Kurt SMITH (Ernest OKOH 61), Jonathan NZENGO SUBS NOT USED DANIEL JONES & GOLDEN IGBINEWEKA