ROMFORD 3 (1) - (3) 4 Dereham Town Attendance 110 - Rookery Hill
By Gary Redwin
Romford slipped to another defeat despite a battling display in this seven goal thriller
The visitors started brightly and had already gone close when they scored in the sixth minute after a well worked set play with Joe Gatting on hand to scramble the ball home. Nathan JOSEPH was well positioned to make a goal line clearance from another set play before Boro nearly grabbed an equaliser of their own. With pretty much their first foray into the Dereham half a cross from the left wing found wingback Joseph sprinting into the box but his volley smashed against the underside of the crossbar and bounced clear. In the twelfth minute The Magpies doubled their lead when a low cross from the left was turned into his own goal by Malaki TOUSSAINT, under pressure with a forward waiting to pounce. Five minutes later, the Boro midfielder did redeem himself and show Romford a way back into the match when he raced on to Michael MIGNOT’s flick and calmly lobbed the onrushing keeper via the slightest of deflections. Dereham then won a string of corners, looking dangerous at every one and going close, before finally grabbing a third goal when Gatting headed his second of the game from close range in the thirty-fourth minute. Straight from kick off Mignot had a glorious chance to reduce the arrears when he found himself one on one, but his shot took the tiniest of touches from keeper Elliot Pride and diverted off the outside of the post and wide.
Early in the second half Khadean CAMPBELL blocked the goalkeeper’s clearance but the ball sailed just over the bar while Romford keeper Harry ALDRIDGE made a smart stop to deny a Dereham forward. Danny COSSINGTON cleared a corner off his own goal line in the fifty first minute and then, as the play rushed up the other end Boro won their own corner which was met by Cossington soaring above everybody but his header was cleared off the goal line too. Nick REYNOLDS and Mignot both wasted chances for Romford before Reece HEWITT met a cross with a fine left foot volley that looked to be heading goalwards before Pride scrambled across and tipped the ball wide. It proved vital as moments later Dereham broke and Gatting beat the onrushing Aldridge to claim his hat trick and The Magpies fourth. The visitor’s right back picked up two yellow cards in quick succession for cynical fouls and left the referee with no other choice than to show him the red card. Romford were bombarding the away team’s goal but could not find a breakthrough until Chris TAYLOR headed home a rebound after Mignot and Campbell had headers cleared off the line and off the woodwork with six minutes of normal time remaining. As the clock hit ninety minutes Campbell was felled once more right on the edge of the box and Hewitt hit a low free kick into the bottom corner to set up a frantic finish but Romford could not find the deserved equaliser as the referee brought the enthralling game to a close.
ROMFORD (1) 3 Malaki TOUSSAINT 17, Chris TAYLOR 84, Reece HEWITT 90
DEREHAM TOWN (3) 4 JOE GATTING 6, 34, 73 TOUSSAINT O.G 12
ROMFORD: Harry ALDRIDGE, Nathan JOSEPH, Toby BARLOW (Henry FISHER 74), Nick REYNOLDS (Chris TAYLOR 74), Phillip BROWN-BAMPOE, Danny COSSINGTON, Malaki TOUSSAINT, Ayo OLUKOGA, Khadean CAMPBELL, Michael MIGNOT, Reece HEWITT SUBS NOT USED GABRIEL KEELUM, RIDWAN HUSSEIN & DANNY NESBITT