Bowers & Pitsea 1 (1) - (1) 1 ROMFORD Essex Senior Cup Fourth Round (ROMFORD won 4 - 2 On Penalties) Attendance 62 - Crown Avenue
By Gary Redwin
Romford caused another upset in the county competition by progressing to the quarter finals at the expense of top of the table Bowers & Pitsea.
Injuries and unavailability meant Paul Martin had to name a changed team with only three substitutes and Boro got off to a bad start when some slack defending after only four minutes allowed James Thomas time and space in the area to place his left shoot just inside the far post. Bowers have only lost once on their new artificial surface and that to higher league opposition, and they fashioned some slick passing moves on the wet surface before Romford gradually began to settle. Khadean CAMPBELL then equalised in the sixteenth minute when he collected a through pass on the edge of the box with his back to goal, but quickly swivelled and fired a low shot into the corner of the goal surprising the Bowers defence and keeper.
The rest of the first half was end to end stuff with Roddy Lemba not being able to make the best of a couple of chances that fell his way, while at the other end George FORREST twice distinguished himself with firstly a last ditch block and then a goal saving clearance off the line after Rhys HUGHES had made a great save but was on the ground and could not reach the follow up shot.
It was more of the same in an exciting second half with Romford especially having to drop deep at times. However they never stopped running, working and tackling lead by skipper Danny COSSINGTON who was immense at the centre of defence. Bowers tested Hughes on several occasions but although they created less chances it was Romford who came closest to a winner as the game drew to a close with a long, speculative Max BRADFORD shot scraping the outside of the post and then with only two minutes remaining, a Bowers corner was cleared swiftly upfield to Campbell who cut in from the left and saw his shot clip the crossbar and go over to safety. With the last action of the match Hughes tipped an inswinging corner onto his crossbar and over a second before the final whistle blew.
No extra time and straight to the penalty shoot out nowadays in the Essex Senior Cup, and for the first kick the Bowers keeper had to face his opposite number Hughes who strode up and smashed home an unstoppable shot. His Boro teammates, debutant Connor Tyrrell, Bradford and Ayo OLUKOGA converted their kicks with equal confidence, leaving Hughes to twice get down brilliantly to save the second and fourth Bowers kicks and send Romford through to the last eight.
BOWERS & PITSEA (1) 1 Thomas 4,
ROMFORD (1) 1 Khadean CAMPBELL 16,
Team: Rhys HUGHES, Nathan JOSEPH, Max BRADFORD, George FORREST, Ayo OLUKOGA, Danny COSSINGTON (c), Danny Jones (Greg AKPELE 69), Malaki TOUSSAINT, Khadean CAMPBELL, Roddy Lemba, Max BOLTON (Connor Tyrrell 69)
Unused Sub: Chris Taylor
Penalty Shoot Out Goals: Rhys HUGHES, Connor Tyrrell, Max BRADFORD, Ayo OLUKOGA
Yellow Card: Danny COSSINGTON 76