Ryman Div One North
Romford 1 v 2 Grays Athletic
A TWELFTH win in a row saw Grays Athletic extend their lead at the top of the league as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Ship Lane.
Grays started brightly in the cold spring sunshine as befitted a team that had won eleven games in a row.
Daniel Subola was given a start up front and immediately showed what a powerful presence he is.
In the 10th minute, Subola found space on the left, crossed to Jack West but his path in the area was well blocked by Jack Barry.
Romford’s first attack saw Kirk Smith race through the defence but his attempted chip went astray.
Grays playmaker, Leon Lalite was starting to dominate the middle as Grays found their way.
But it was Romford who opened the scoring with a lovely worked goal. In the 17th minute, Kirk Smith sent a great cross over and Nick Reynolds rose high over the Grays defence to head home.
With Grays now top of the league, they had to respond as the hunted as opposed to the hunter.
Subola was getting into good positions but his radar was way off. At the other end, Romford looked dangerous.
However it was a stroke of luck that saw Grays get back in the game. In the 27th minute, Lee Flynn sent over a free kick, Danny Bunce got a touch but Romford defender Jamie Dicks accidentally bundled it into the back of the net.
Grays tails were up. Danny Bunce marauded into the defence but his shot was weak.
It was a very even game that paid testament to how well Romford operate on a shoestring budget.
Grays took the lead in the 47th minute after good work from Joao Carlos on the right, he slid the ball across the area and Danny Bunce bundled the ball home.
It was a key time for Romford, who suddenly looked very stretched. Grays meanwhile were plotting a course for victory. Subola continued to forage down the right and although there were no clear cut chances it was keeping the ball at the Romford end.
In the 69th minute, Romford did have a good attack as Kirk Smith found his way into the area but Lamar Johnson produced a great smother save.
The vital third goal was proving elusive. In the 80th minute, Danny Bunce produced a dangerous run on the left, crossed, Jack West volleyed but it was straight at the keeper.
A Kenny Beaney free kick was well saved by Atu Ngoy. Romford tried to mount a few attacks but Grays defence were once again more than equal to the task.
Grays held on to stretch their lead to six points with a game in hand. They return to Rush Green on Monday with a derby against Aveley.
Grays Athletic: Johnson L, Pope C, Kirby R, Baker J, Flynn L, Lalite L, Beaney K, Bunce D, West J, Subola D (Moses B 75), Carlos J (Newby K 85)
Subs not used: Marshall L, East D, Hammond J
Romford: Ngoy A, Ottley D, Oates J, Barry J, Dicks J, Clayton P, Summut M, Seymore A, Reynolds N, Jones B, Smith K
Subs not used: Duru C, Christian-Laws T, Blessing A, Toms M
Ref: C Hatzidakis