ROMFORD 1 (0) - (2) 4 Brentwood Town Attendance 116 - Rookery Hill
By Gary Redwin
Romford slipped to another league defeat but the match was destroyed by one of the worst refereeing performances I have ever witnessed.
Before I begin my rant I would first like to say that the performance of Mr Barnett in no way changed the result and Brentwood were worthy winners thanks to a Charlee Hughes hat trick and a Tony Stokes curler. The visitors were brighter and faster all over the pitch during the first half and despite a spirited Boro performance in the second half, Town put the game to bed with some clinical finishing after Nick REYNOLDS had reduced the score to two–one midway through the second half.
I will start off with delay in kicking off the game by five minutes while we waited for one of the officials to come out of the changing room, I would expect a fine if a player caused a delay like this. In fact even after this a Brentwood player was also late arriving onto the pitch. Once the game did get going the referee made it clear he was going to be centre stage, needlessly talking to every player whenever the smallest of fouls were committed. Although the standard of refereeing at this level has never been the best, this season it has seemed to be vastly improved up until tonight’s game where the man in black had both team’s management, players and supporters pulling their hair out with some unbelievable decisions. Brentwood did have a player sent off for a bad challenge but should have had another one sent off for an equally poor one that only received a yellow card. Romford’s captain was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession with the first laughable but the second probably justified. What really annoyed everyone was the lack of any flow to the game with both teams bemused as to what absurd decision was going to be next, followed by the long chat (usually getting the captain involved), and stopping and pulling back any quick free kicks that were attempted. Spectators pay good money to see what are normally entertaining non-league games but everyone was left frustrated and short changed even after seeing five goals. How the referee didn’t book himself for time wasting I will never know especially when he probably spent about fifteen minutes of the match in conversation with either players, coaches or his assistants that he anyway mostly ignored. In fact he should be sued under the Trade Description Act or fired from his job as I would be if I put in such a poor performance at my work place.
Brentwood got off to a flyer capitalising on a Boro mistake with Hughes turning in a cross from close range in the seventh minute before Stokes curled a sublime effort in from the edge of the box. The returning Reynolds who lead the line well, had a chance to pull a goal back before half time but headed just over from Connor HAMMOND's deep cross. Danny COSSINGTON was sent off for two yellow cards but this only spurred Romford on and Reynolds did reduce the arrears taking his time before shooting under the keeper. Hughes grabbed his second following up a rebound, before ex Boro man Ryan Mallett was shown the red card for an out of control challenge. In stoppage time Hughes grabbed his hat trick firing in low after a quick counter attack while at the other end Reynolds had a consolation goal ruled out for offside after Ayo OLUKOGA had hit the crossbar.
ROMFORD (0) 1 Nick REYNOLDS 53
BRENTWOOD TOWN (2) 4 HUGHES 7, 73, 90 STOKES 23
ROMFORD: Rhys HUGHES, George FORREST, Connor HAMMOND, Tom POTTER, Ayo OLUKOGA, Danny COSSINGTON, Danny NESBITT (RODDY LEMBA 81), Alfie CLEAL (Max BOLTON 72), Nick REYNOLDS, Chris TAYLOR, Greg AKPELE (Ernest OKOH 63) SUBS NOT USED MAX BRADFORD MALAKI TOUSSAINT
YELLOW CARDS Connor HAMMOND 16, Danny COSSINGTON 51. 52, Nick REYNOLDS 58, Danny NESBITT 66
RED CARD Danny COSSINGTON 52