AFC Sudbury 4 (1) - (0) 0 ROMFORD Attendance 219 - The Wardle Williams Stadium
By Gary Redwin
Romford were knocked out of the FA Trophy but it was a much closer game than the score line suggests after a spirited display by the visitors.
A disappointing end to what has been an excellent run, but Paul Martin can take pride in his team's performance especially after falling behind early. Ryan BOSWELL could not intercept a ball that skidded through on the damp 3G pitch, leaving Luke Callender the chance to advance towards the goal before unselfishly finding Sam Bantick who had a tap in at the far post in the fifteenth minute.
Despite this goal the home team certainly hadn't had it all their own way as Jamie DICKS and Nick REYNOLDS each had half chances before the opener.
Both teams then defended well for a long period until late in the half Romford took the game to Sudbury and really gave them a scare. In the thiry-fourth minute, Will Green raced down the left wing before picking out Ryan Mallett who fired just wide, then four minutes later Ayo OLUKOGA won the ball in midfield before driving at the defence and slipping in Reynolds who shot low past the keeper, but there was a defender on hand to block the goal bound effort.
Chinedu MCKENZIE had another shot saved and Olukoga fired just over before Romford were millimetres away from equalising right on half time when McKenzie got behind his marker down the right wing, cut in to beat two more men and then placed a low left foot shot that hit the outside of the post before going wide.
Paul Martin tweaked his tactics to give Romford a more attacking edge and it nearly paid off five minutes into the second half when a Dicks cross found McKenzie who controlled the ball and beat his man but saw his shot beaten away by the Sudbury keeper. From the resulting short corner Dicks sent a cross to the far post where Matt TOMS arrived and headed back across the goal to Danny COSSINGTON sliding in, but the Boro midfielder could only direct the ball into the side netting.
At the other end the Ryman Premier team were denied when Callum CHAFER made a good save from a point blank header before against the run of play they did double their lead when during a quick counter attack they broke down the right wing and a low cross was smashed home by Craig Parker. Chafer made another good save, diving full length to stop a free kick but as Romford went for broke Sudbury showed some more clinical finishing to put the game to bed.
With five minutes left on the clock Parker bundled in his second of the game after Romford were caught out with a quick free kick and Rob Eagle grabbed a fourth which really flattered the Suffolk team when he cut in and curled home a great shot into the bottom corner. It could have been even worse for the Boro as the hosts rattled the bar deep into injury time but Romford can hold their heads high and take the positives from the match as they resume their league campaign and hopefully start pulling clear of the relegation zone.
AFC SUDBURY (1) 4 BANTICK 14, PARKER 59, 85 EAGLE 88
ROMFORD (0) 0
ROMFORD: Callum CHAFER, Ryan BOSWELL, RYAN MALLETT, Matt TOMS, Danny COSSINGTON (Chris TAYLOR 75), Jonathan ADEBAYO, Ayo OLUKOGA, Jamie DICKS, Chinedu MCKENZIE, Nick REYNOLDS (Ashley BANKOLE 79), WILL GREEN (Asher MODESTE 68) SUBS NOT USED RICHARD WRAY