Death, Taxes, and Alex Read
Aveley 3 , Romford 0 - Velocity Trophy Group 2 - 2nd September 2019
According to Benjamin Franklin, life's two certainties are death and taxes; were he alive today, he would no doubt add, "And Alex Read scoring against Romford." Read netted against Boro for the second time in eight days when he headed home a 40th minute free-kick by Alex Akofri to give the hosts the lead, but failed to add to his tally. Two second half goals from Firmin Ngandu completed the scoring for the hosts.
Romford's Louis Tiobi was unfortunate to be booked for the challenge that resulted in free-kick that led to Read's goal as his collision with Akofri appeared to be little more than a coming together. Dilan Thandi suffered a similar fate in first half stoppage time when he became the second Romford player to go into referee James Hurst's book for what appeared to be a routine foul, while Boro sub Joshua Samuels made it a hat-trick of yellow cards in the 91st minute, again for a fairly innocuous challenge.
Paul Martin made wholesale changes from the side narrowly beaten at AFC Sudbury on Saturday, while Aveley were virtually unchanged from the side that had faced Maldon & Tiptree two days earlier. The opening stages resembled a pre-season friendly as both sides stroked the ball around without seeming to have the inclination to go for the jugular, although Aveley did have the ball in the net in just the fourth minute, but Luke Foster was well offside. Romford's best effort of the first half was a shot from Reece Tranter that was straight at Hughes in the Aveley goal, while at the other end Jack Riddell saved well with his feet as the half drew to a close.
Riddell was in action again shortly after the interval when he saved well from Alex Read, low down at the base of a post, and Aveley had the next decent opportunity when Love headed a corner over the bar. Aveley doubled their lead just after the hour mark from the penalty spot when Derek Ohalem was adjudged to have fouled Ngandu, and the former Waltham Abbey forward picked himself up and sent Riddell the wrong way from the spot.
Romford retaliated with a fine effort from Reece Tranter that was narrowly over the crossbar in the 62nd minute, after which there was a flurry of substitutions - three for Boro and two for Aveley. A clear foul on one of Romford's subs, Adeniyi Gbolahan, went unpunished despite the Boro player requiring treatment, and the same player was later pole-axed by Aveley keeper Hughes as he chased down a cross field ball by the returning George Woodward. At least on that occasion the referee saw fit to award Boro a free-kick, although despite his alacrity in flashing a card at Romford players, he chose not to caution the Aveley keeper. George Woodward fired the resulting free-kick over the bar.
By that stage Aveley had added a third goal when a short corner found its way to Akofri, who scored from close range via the cross-bar. The final chance of the evening fell to Romford; Jaydon Charles was fouled on the edge of the box, but Billy Stewart's free-kick was blocked by the Aveley wall. Romford passed the ball well on the artificial surface, but decent chances were at a premium.
Romford: Jack Riddell, Nathan Joseph (Joshua Samuels, 65m), Louis Tiobi, Dilan Thandi, Danny Nesbitt, Derek Ohalem, Jacob Turk (Adenyiyi Gbolahan, 65m), Reece Tranter (George Woodward, 65m), Jaydon Charles, Billy Stewart, Keiron Owusu. Subs not used: Danny Cossington, Harry Aldridge.