The Velocity Trophy might not be to everyone's taste, but it certainly seems to be Timi Babalola's cup of tea as Boro's young striker followed up his debut goal in the competition against Waltham Abbey with two more against Brentwood Town at The Arena. Babalola worked hard up front and deserved the plaudits from supporters after the game, but equally impressive was the defensive partnership of Michael Agboola and Luke McLeavy - who weighed in with Boro's other goal - and the industry of Ethan Kessell when he came on as a half-time substitute for George Woodward.
Both sides had early sights of goal without troubling either keeper; for Brentwood, Andrew Freeman shot wide with just four minutes played, and two minutes later, Connor Hogan fired over the bar. George Woodward had two attempts at goal - one well wide after his control had let him down and forced him to hurry his shot, and another deflected effort well saved by Brown - before his well-placed free-kick found Luke McLeavy at the far post in the 18th minute, and the defender notched his first Boro goal with a similarly well-placed header.
The lead lasted just seven minutes however as Tom Anderson's low shot was fortuitously deflected into the path of Jason Williams, who drove the ball low past Jack Riddell. Romford finished the half strongly, but without being able to retake the lead. Babalola was unable to make decisive contact with a superb low cross from Woodward, and then Brown had to be alert to keep out Malaki Toussaint's free-kick, before a strong run by Babalola ended with Jimmy Cox seeing his shot blocked.
Brentwood's resistance lasted for less than sixty-seconds after the interval, however as Cox's header found Babalola, and his low finish beat Brown all ends up. Just before the hour mark, it was all over as Babalola scored again. Ethan Kessell won the ball in midfield and quickly moved it on to Babalola, whose low shot went under the body of the advancing Brown. And Babalola went close to a hat-trick five minutes before the end when he was again set up after good work by Kessell, but this time his shot went wide of the post.
Paul Martin rang the changes in the second half, taking advantage of competition rules that allow for five substitutions to be made. With Ethan Kessell having replaced Woodward at the break, the Boro boss then brought on Dilan Thandi and Danny Nesbitt to replace Agboola and McLeavy at the heart of the defence, gave Jay Nash game time in place of Jimmy Cox, and replaced Malaki Toussaint with Inesh Sumithran.
Brentwood's best chance of the second period fell to Williams, who contrived to miss the target from close range when it looked easier to score, and the visitors picked up their fourth yellow card of the night in the last minute when substitute Vaughan was booked for simulation. For Boro, just the one caution, for Charlie Little.
Make no mistake, this was a very encouraging performance from this young Romford side, who - as they had at Tonbridge - passed the ball well, aided by the much-improved playing surface at The Arena, looked sound at the back and direct up front. All in all, a good night's work, and decent entertainment for the 101 spectators present.
Romford: Jack Riddell, Charlie Little, Toby Barlow, Luke McLeavy (Dilan Thandi, 65m), Michael Agboola (Danny Nesbitt, 65m), Danny Cossington, George Woodward (Ethan Kessell, 46m), Philip Brown-Bampoe, Timi Babalola, Jimmy Cox (Jay Nash, 65), Malaki Toussaint (Inesh Sumithran, 65m)