Great Wakering Rovers 2 (0) - (0) 1 ROMFORD Attendance 126 - Burroughs Park
By Gary Redwin
Romford could not hang on to their early second half lead and slipped to a narrow defeat at Great Wakering.
It was a cold afternoon at Burroughs Park for Boro's 1,000th league match since their reformation in 1992 and it was also that season 26 years ago that Great Wakering made their debut in senior football. Since then the two sides have met on many occasions and the first half of this latest encounter was a very even contest with both defences mostly on top, allowing the attackers very few sniffs at goal. Ex Boro man Shomari Barnwell looked set to score for the home side but hesitated in front of goal and was closed down before pushing his effort wide and some half chances were dealt with by Harry ALDRIDGE and his defenders. For Romford, Malaki TOUSSAINT had his shot saved and Nick REYNOLDS was also on target with a piledriver of a free kick that was blocked after Ridwan HUSSEIN's dangerous looking run had been stopped unfairly just outside the area. As the half drew to a close Ayo OLUKOGA had a good opening but could not get any power behind his shot while a Great Wakering forward fired wide from close range.
The second half was a lot more open from the start and it only took Boro 6 minutes to get their noses in front through Reece HEWITT who had come on as substitute after the interval. He caught a home defender in possession on the edge of the box and after winning the ball surprised the Great Wakering keeper with a low drive inside the near post. Romford now started to pass the ball round with confidence and pressed forward but were undone after a fatal passage of play in the 67th minute. A good attacking move ended with Hussain looking likely to score but having his shot charged down with a Great Wakering man just managing to clear from the resulting scramble in the goalmouth. A long ball then found Joshua Wiggins in front of the Boro goal to side foot in the equaliser, so in a flash Romford had been pegged back level after looking sure to go 2 goals ahead.
Soon after Reynolds just failed to play Alfie CLEAL through on goal but from then on the home side took charge. Aldridge made a superb save with Danny COSSINGTON acrobatically clearing off the line from the follow up and then the hosts twice hit the woodwork as the Boro defence was put under increasing pressure. The winner arrived after 82 minutes when Romford lost possession in midfield allowing a Great Wakering attack down the right and a cross to the far post was headed in from close range by Billy Johnson. In the time remaining the home side were happy to defend in depth against Romford's last desperate attacks and another fruitless away day leaves Paul Martin's men still in the relegation zone.
Team: Harry ALDRIDGE, Nathan JOSEPH, Toby BARLOW (Reece HEWITT 45), Danny NESBITT, Ayo OLUKOGA (Khadean CAMPBELL 79), Danny COSSINGTON (c), Chris TAYLOR, Malaki TOUSSAINT, Nick REYNOLDS (Roddy Lemba 79), Ridwan HUSSEIN, Alfie CLEAL
Unused Subs: Henry Fisher, James Scammell
Goal: Reece HEWITT 51
Yellow Card: Danny NESBITT 44