Romford 0 (0) - (0) Barking Attendance 96 - Rookery Hill
By Gary Redwin
Romford and Barking played out a goalless draw in the Bostik North in a match that may not live too long in the memory.
Boro began brightly, with a mazy run into the box from debutant Ridwan HUSSEIN in the eighth minute ending with an effort from a tight angle that was well saved by Tim Brown. The Blues, who were playing in yellow, were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 22nd minute when a poor touch by home skipper Danny COSSINGTON allowed Darelle Russell through on goal but Romford stopper Harry ALDRIDGE was alert to the danger and rushed off his line to beat Russell to the ball. Aldridge was called into action again eight minutes later, keeping out a driven effort from Rashid Kamara from the edge of the area. Kamara went close again in the 31st minute when latching on to Chinedu Osadebe’s flick-on, but was again thwarted by Aldridge. The Boro keeper was certainly being kept busy, with a speculative lob on the half-volley from 30 yards by Barking’s Jack Edwards tipped over for a corner a minute later. The visitors were knocking on the door, with Ryan Cosson heading over from a corner with eight minutes left in the half.
Nine minutes into the second half, Jordan Peart played Kemo Darboe in on goal, but the substitute’s effort from just inside the box trickled past the post. With an hour played, Ayo OLUKOGA dragged a shot not too far wide for the hosts following a driving run from midfield and Romford then continued to press, with another mazy run from Hussein allowing him to set up Alfie CLEAL in the 67th minute, but the winger shot wide from an acute angle. Darboe thought he had headed Barking ahead in the 74th minute when nodding a free-kick towards goal, but saw his effort drop agonisingly wide of the target. Kamara chanced his arm again for Barking in stoppage time, but his effort did not trouble Aldridge on its way wide. A cross from Nathaniel Joseph for Romford looked dangerous, but no colleague was able to get on the end of it. There was still time for Kamara to go close again, but the on-rushing Aldridge did enough to put the attacker off. In the end, no goals were forthcoming with the draw probably the fairest result between two sides who did not really do enough in the final third and despite gaining a point Romford dropped into the relegation zone.
ROMFORD (0) 0
BARKING (0) 0
Romford: Harry ALDRIDGE, Nathan JOSEPH, Toby BARLOW (Reece HEWITT 74), Teddy Nesbitt, Ayo OLUKOGA, Danny COSSINGTON, Chris TAYLOR, Malaki TOUSSAINT, Nick REYNOLDS (Frederico HERNANDEZ 85), Ridwan HUSSEIN (Ethan DAVEY 79), Alfie CLEAL Subs not used James Scammell, Rodney Lemba.