ROMFORD 2 (1) - (2) 3 Great Wakering Rovers Attendance 107 - Rookery Hill
By Gary Redwin
Romford were knocked out of this years FA Trophy.
In typical 'after the Lord Mayor's show' fashion, having produced what was probably their best display of the season against Aveley just a few days previously, Romford crashed out of the FA Trophy to a Great Wakering Rovers side who were much improved from the opening day fixture between the two sides. Whether it was a reaction to the league game that Romford had played just four days before, or whether Rovers had done their homework, Boro never really got going in this game and paid the price for conceding early goals in each half.
Boro were missing Taylor Tombides and Kurt Smith - both injured against Aveley - with Max BOLTON and Nathan JOSEPH, who both made appearances as substitutes in that game, starting. It was Rovers who had the first strike at goal, Scott Pethers shot straight at Rhys HUGHES in the Romford goal after four minutes, but on eleven minutes the visitors had the lead. A short corner routine provided the opportunity for Adam Vyse to score with an unopposed header. Boro nearly equalised immediately as Rovers keeper Turipa dropped Nick REYNOLDS's long throw, but Max BOLTON's shot from the loose ball was blocked.
Rovers created two decent chances with Hughes saving one header and then Nick REYNOLDS's misplaced pass allowed Johnson a run at goal, but again Hughes saved at the expense of a corner. Twenty-six minutes in and Rovers doubled their lead. Vyse chased a long ball to the corner flag and having fended off the attentions of Jamie MARSH, and despite Danny COSSINGTON's attempt to clear, was able to cross low into the six-yard box where Aaron Russell converted.
Romford made inroads into Rovers' lead on the half-hour mark when Danny COSSINGTON's thumping header from Jonathon Nzengo's right wing corner found the net, and just a moment later Nick REYNOLDS was thwarted by the Rovers goalkeeper.
Jonathon Nzengo picked up a yellow card for fending off an opponent with his arm, despite having been the victim of a similar challenge just moments before but which the referee - who had an indifferent game - chose to ignore.
Ernest OKOH cut inside from the right only to fire wide, while Max BOLTON was brought down having broken clear on the left flank from a Cossington pass as Boro ended the half the stronger side.
Any hopes that of an early breakthrough that Romford might have entertained after the interval were dashed in the 52nd minute when Rovers regained their two goal advantage. Scott Pethers launched a long throw into the Boro penalty area and it seemed that Hughes was deceived by the flight of the ball, which cleared his head and was headed home by Billy Johnson.
Paul Martin brought on his three substitutes in short order; Khadean CAMPBELL replaced Nathan JOSEPH just after the hour mark, and shortly after Max BOLTON made way for Academy player Peter OYETUNJI, while Max BRADFORD - recently signed from Canvey Island - replaced Nick REYNOLDS. Campbell bagged his first goal from the club after 72 minutes, cleverly bringing the ball down as Greg AKPELE played it into the box before prodding it past Turipa in the Rovers goal, and just a minute later a foul on Campbell after a strong run gave Boro a free kick in a dangerous area, but Nzengo's effort was narrowly wide.
Gordon and Vyse both tested Hughes in the Romford goal as Rovers pushed forward in the belief that attack is a good form of defence, while Campbell was foiled by Turipa as Boro sought an equaliser and a replay, which sadly proved beyond them in the ninety minutes and scant two minutes injury time that the referee chose to add on; most observers felt that five minutes would have been nearer the mark.
On balance, Romford can have few complaints about the result after a somewhat flat performance against a Great Wakering side who have found improved form of late.
MATCH REPORT BY MIKE WOODS
ROMFORD (1) 2 Danny COSSINGTON 30, Khadean CAMPBELL 72
GREAT WAKERING ROVERS (2) 3 Vyse 11, Russell 26, Johnson 52
Romford: Rhys HUGHES, Nathaniel Joseph (Khadean CAMPBELL 62'), Jonathon Nzengo, Jamie MARSH, Ayo OLUKOGA, Danny COSSINGTON, Chris TAYLOR, Ernest OKOH, Nick REYNOLDS (Max BRADFORD 66'), Max BOLTON (Peter OYETUNJI 65'), Greg AKPELE
Subs (not used) George Forrest, Nathan Okoye
Yellow Cards: Jonathon Nzengo (34)