Ryman League North
Romford 4 v 1 Wroxham
Report by Gary Redwin
Mckenzie’s hat-trick aids Boro’s relegation battle
A goal from Nick Reynolds equalled the club record but Chinedu McKenzie stole the show with a superb hat-trick as Romford won this massive 6 pointer battle in the relegation dog fight against Wroxham.
Both teams started nervously with lots of forward balls going astray before Romford started to find their feet and deservedly took the lead in the 22nd minute. A long pass over the top intended for Reynolds was just cut out but it was then picked up by McKenzie who from twenty-five yards out spotted the keeper a fraction too far off his line and sent a sublime chip over his reach and just under the bar.
The Yachtsmen nearly got back on level terms straight away when a cross found its way to Cruise Nyadzayo but Boro keeper Callum Chafer pulled off a good save to keep the visitors at bay. In the 33rd minute Romford forward Reynolds picked up the ball just outside the box with his back to goal and after a quick turn sent in a shot that looked to be heading for the top corner only for Wroxham keeper Elliott Pride to get a fingertip on the ball and turn it against the bar; McKenzie was quick to the rebound and headed the ball goalwards only for Pride to save again, this time with his feet. Romford did however grab the second goal three minutes later when McKenzie passed the ball to Kai Bichard in the box and the midfielder was tripped leaving the referee no option but to point to the spot. McKenzie stepped up and smashed the ball into the corner. In first half injury time a long ball forward by Wroxham was headed clear by Chafer outside the box but the ball fell kindly to Ross Gilfedder who shot towards goal but James Ishmail was on hand to clear the danger.
Early in the second half Gilfedder fired a long range effort towards goal that clipped the top of the bar before Reynolds’ big moment arrived in the 51st minute at the other end. Greg Akpele slipped in McKenzie down the right and his cross found Reynolds who had timed his run through the defence perfectly, slotting the ball home from two yards out and sparking wild celebrations as he equalled Danny Benstock’s long standing record of sixty-seven goals since the club reformed in 1992.
The visitors were then handed a lifeline when they were awarded a soft penalty that Gilfedder dispatched before McKenzie completed his hat trick in rather confusing circumstances. After a Boro attack broke down leaving Will Green and Reynolds in offside positions, a wayward header from a Wroxham player was misdirected back towards his own goal and chased by the quick thinking McKenzie who flicked the ball over the advancing keeper and into the net before everybody spotted the offside flag raised. With Wroxham expecting a free kick and Romford players cutting short their celebrations to protest, the referee sensibly waved everybody away before consulting his linesman who may have thought it had been a Romford head on the ball and eventually the goal was correctly awarded.
Boro had further chances to extend their lead, with McKenzie having a shot saved and Green firing just over before the referee brought the game to an end. Results elsewhere mean Romford stay in the bottom three but they still have games in hand over most other clubs near the foot of the table.
Romford: Callum Chafer, Ryan Boswell, Jamie Dicks, Danny Cossington, James Ishmail, Kai Bichard (Ryan Mallet 57), Jonathan Adebayo, Greg Akpele (James Age 68), Chinedu McKenzie, Nick Reynolds (Chris Taylor 85), Will Green
Scorers – Chinedu McKenzie (22′, 36′, 66′), Nick Reynolds (51′)
Wroxham: Elliot Pride, Jack Guyton, Robert Sweeney, Matthew Cook (James Baughurst 46), Ollie Ebbage, Matthew Halliday, Cruise Nyadzayo (Sam Gauntlett 71), Ben Lewis, Ross Gilfedder, Cassimiro Datocampol, Armami Schaar
Scorer – Ross Gilfedder (57′)