With the injury to inspirational skipper Danny Cossington, Paul Martin was short of available defenders to name in his line up and Boro supporters arriving at the Brentwood Arena were amazed to learn that veteran John Maskell was named in the starting eleven. He had previously had a distinguished career with the club in the Essex Senior League but had last worn the blue and gold nearly twelve years ago. He went on to have a solid game at the heart of the Romford defence with his touch, positional play and anticipation making up for any pace he had naturally lost over the intervening years.
Brentwood took the lead after only seven minutes when a pass through the middle of the Boro defence found Charlee Hughes looking suspiciously offside, but play was waved on and he shot home low into the far corner. The home team were on the front foot and Harry Aldridge in the Romford goal was forced into a couple of more smart saves before on the half hour a thumping Hughes shot hit the post although the forward once again looked offside. A minute later the visitors came agonisingly close to getting an equaliser when Malaki Toussaint's shot from just inside the area looked to be heading in, but then seemed to swerve at the last second and hit the crossbar.
Throughout the second half the work rate of the Boro players never flagged and they gave as good as they got against their mid table opponents, but as in so many matches of recent months they were let down by their final touch in and around goal. Brentwood's second was headed in by Hughes after sixty eight minutes and from then on clawing back two goals looked to be too big a task for Romford. Their best effort was a late Pedro Carvalho shot that tested ex Boro keeper Rob Budd before the referee blew for time.
Next Saturday's visit of Mildenhall, one place above Boro in the table is now a must win game if they are to have any hope of avoiding the drop.
Team: Harry Aldridge, Ayo Olukoga, Toby Barlow, Malaki Toussaint, Phillip Brown-Bampoe, John Maskell, Pedro Carvalho, Nathan Joseph, Nick Reynolds (MaxBolton 74), Chris Taylor (c) (Greg Akpele 74), Reece Hewitt ( Danny Nesbitt 65)
Unused Subs: Ridwan Hussein, Calvin Poku
MATCH REPORT BY PHIL REDWIN