ROMFORD 2 (1) - (0) 1 Mildenhall Town Attendance 107 - Rookery Hill
By Gary Redwin
A much needed win for Romford in this six pointer means hope is still alive in their battle to avoid the drop.
Mildenhall had been rather fortunate to come out on top in the November meeting up in Suffolk and with both clubs now occupying the two relegation spots, the importance of this match was obvious. It developed into a physical battle from the start and the visitors were down to ten man after only eighteen minutes when Kouassi departed after a totally unnecessary slap and head butt on Reece HEWITT, with the Mildenhall players aghast at their teammates stupidity. Boro took full advantage three minutes when Ayo OLUKOGA, playing in a more advanced role than usual shot home from just inside the area after receiving an excellent through ball from Hewitt. It remained goalless for the rest of the half, although both teams had half chances. A lot of Romford's good moves were developing down the left where Hewitt and Toby BARLOW were linking with George WOODWARD who had returned to the club after being sidelined for over a year due to injury. His finding of space and intelligent use of the ball added a lot of creativity to the home side in a stand out performance.
Boro could not capitalise on their lead after half time and Mildenhall equalised after sixty two minutes when Zanone drove an edge of the box free kick with pinpoint accuracy into the tiniest of gaps just inside the post. Shortly after Romford thought they had retaken the lead but substitute Max BOLTON's effort was ruled offside. Greg AKPELE shot narrowly over the bar after more good work from Bolton in the latter stages of the match, and then with just five minutes of normal time remaining Boro got that one piece of good fortune that has eluded them all season. Woodward's shot from the left hand edge of the box took a slight deflection and wrong footed Mildenhall keeper Hayhoe before dropping behind him into the net. Malaki TOUSSAINT could have made things safe but Hayhoe made a great save with his foot and any late flourish from the visitors was somewhat curtailed as they went down to nine men when Butcher got his marching orders for a reckless foul.
Romford stay in bottom place although they now have the same number of points as Mildenhall, but are hoping they may have turned the corner with this hard fought victory.
Team: Harry ALDRIDGE, Nathan JOSEPH, Toby BARLOW (Greg AKPELE 57), Phillip Brown- Bampoe (Max BOLTON 69), Danny NESBITT, John MASKELL (c), George WOODWARD, Malaki TOUSSAINT, Ayo OLUKOGA, Michael MIGNOT, Reece HEWITT
Unused Subs: Chris Taylor, Nick Reynolds, Pedro Carvalho
Goals: Ayo OLUKOGA 21, George WOODWARD 85
Yellow Cards: Toby BARLOW 19, John MASKELL 38, Malaki TOUSSAINT 54, George WOODWARD 90