First Team
Sat 11 May 2024
Romford Football Club
First Team
H NALBANT (52'), (94'), S DEERING (55')
A Dream Come True!

A Dream Come True!

Michael Woods12 May - 07:50
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Two for Nalbant as Boro lift the Vase!

Great Wakering Rovers (0) 0, Romford (0) 3 – Isuzu FA Vase Final – Saturday 11th May 2024

The Class of 2024 went one better than their 1949 counterparts and brought home the FA Vase with a performance that laid to rest any concerns about the three games in six days that Boro had just played and which included the disappointment of defeats in the Play-Off Final and the Errington Challenge Cup Final.

Rovers, meanwhile had not played since 29th April, but Boro looked the fresher of the two sides and tore into their opponents from the start. Chances were created and missed in the opening period: Charlie Morris was twice just off target and Kris Newby hit a left foot shot that rose over the Rovers bar, while Adalberto Pinto’s shot from an angle following a corner had Rovers’ Jake Gordon waving a foot at it to deflect it for another corner.

Finlay Dorrell had Boro’s best first half chances, forcing Luis Shamshoum into a save at close quarters after being found by Charlie Morris's pass, and then running onto Junior Luke’s crossfield pass and into the box to send a shot narrowly wide of Shamshoum’s far post, although Dorrell was possibly lucky to be allowed the chance as the ball clearly struck his hand - albeit inadvertently – in the build-up.

Little was seen of Great Wakering as an attacking threat and their best opportunities of the opening 45 minutes were efforts from Harry Talbot and Callum Boylan, the latter rolling his shot across the face of Jake Anderson’s goal and wide. Anderson was rarely troubled in the first half as apart from a few crosses that he fielded with ease, he was well protected by his defenders with Scott Doe showing all his experience including one well timed block from a close range shot.

There was one blot on the first half copybook when Remi Sutton was yellow carded for a foul, and of course there was the inevitable fear that a failure to convert pressure and chances into goals might prove costly.

The second half was just seven minutes old when Romford’s nerves were settled with a goal. Charlie Morris intercepted the ball as Rovers tried to play out from the back, quickly found Hassan Nalbant, and he stroked the ball left-footed across Shamshoum and into the far corner.

Three minutes later and the Boro faithful were in dreamland as Sam Deering made it two. Rovers had a claim for penalty denied when Harry Talbot went down under a challenge from Junior Luke and Boro took advantage to break quickly. Hassan Nalbant found Finlay Dorrell on the left and although his shot was saved by Shamshoum, the ball ran kindly for Sam Deering to pass the ball into the net.

The sides exchanged cautions with Rovers’ Tom Barton and Boro’s Adalberto Pinto booked for fouls and as Rovers fought to get back into the game, Boro began to exploit the space they were leaving at the back with substitute Toheeb Elegushi’s pace giving them cause for concern, and as he cut in from the left, he forced Shamshoum into a diving save. Earlier on the man that Elegushi had replaced, Finlay Dorrell, also brought a save from the Rovers’ keeper.

Hassan Nalbant’s persistence on the left enabled him to create a chance for himself that went just wide of Shamshoum’s right hand post while Jake Gordon made a vital last ditch challenge on Charlie Morris.

Despite Boro defender Darren Phillips suffering cramp that restricted his mobility, Rovers failed to unduly trouble the Boro defence and the only save of any note that Anderson had to make was a comfortable catch from a header, although he did splendidly to deal with another Rovers corner, punching clear one-handed at his near post.

Boylan might have done better than to divert a low ball into the Boro area well wide of the post in the second minute of added time, and salt was rubbed in Rovers’ wounds in the fourth added minute. Hassan Nalbant timed his run to perfection when put though by Toheeb Elegushi – who had dispossessed a Rovers defender on the touchline - bore down on goal and beat Shamshoum with an outside of the foot finish for a goal worthy of any Wembley occasion.

Boro’s 1949 FA Amateur Cup Final side have long been revered even by those of us too young to have been there; this team and Dan Spinks and his management team have written themselves into the club’s history books and achieved legendary status.

Romford: Jake Anderson, Junior Luke, Remi Sutton (Lee Hursit, 90m), Scott Doe, Adalberto Pinto (Ash Siddik 72m), Hassan Nalbant, Sam Deering, Finlay Dorrell (Toheeb Elegushi 62m), Kris Newby, Charlie Morris, Darren Phillips. Unused subs: Jacob Wiggins, Jamie Hursit,Danny Hurford, Daniel Nakipov-Getmansky.

Photo: Bob Knightley.

Match details

Match date

Sat 11 May 2024




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