Football: Romford end year on a high

Phoenix Sports 1 Romford 3

Ryman League North

Report by Gary Redwin

McKenzie hat-trick wins it for Boro

Romford ended 2016 on a high as a Chinedu McKenzie hattrick gave the Boro a three – one victory at Phoenix Sports.

Romford were on the back foot straight away when in the second minute the winger beat the offside trap down the right wing and his cross found Michael Power unmarked, but the forward sliced his effort wide of the goal. Four minutes later and a neat flick allowed Michael Carvell to get in behind the Boro back line but Callum Chafer was on hand to deny the midfielder and as the ball came out to the edge of the area it was volleyed back toward goal and Chafer made an excellent flying save. In the ninth minute and slightly against the run of the play Romford took the lead when Nick Reynolds was grounded but able to poke the ball to Jonathan Adebayo who then brought it forward and slipped in McKenzie and the inform striker slotted the ball low past Steve Phillips and into the corner of the net.

The lead however was short lived as Chafer slipped after receiving a back pass and the ball was stolen by Power who aimed at goal but James Ishmail was on hand to clear the danger. However, from the corner Power was unmarked and headed his team back on level terms in the thirteenth minute. Romford were then forced into an early substitution as Chris Barry came on to face brother Jack at the expense of Jamie Dicks who had picked up a knock. Kai Bichard was thwarted by Phillips as he came sliding in to connect with McKenzie’s right wing cross and the midfielder was then denied a certain goal as his curling effort looked to have beaten Phillips who had not moved, but Jack Barry’s outstretched leg cleared the ball for a corner. Another good Romford passing move set up McKenzie who’s powerful drive was deflected just wide of the near post. Chris Barry curled in the corner which hit the crossbar and the ball fell to Nick Reynolds, but his wild effort luckily found it’s way back to Barry who then picked out Danny Cossington and even though his volley was saved, McKenzie was on hand to turn in the rebound in the thirty-fifth minute.

In first half injury time Greg Akpele produced an amazing bit of skill to make space for himself but his twenty-five yard drive was saved, while at the other end Theo Fairweather-Johnson shot wide.

Early in the second half Fairweather-Johnson raced down the left wing and his pull back found Power unmarked but the striker’s effort hit the underside of the bar and the rebound was smashed high and wide by Jack Hopkins. In the fifty-first minute Romford were given a golden opportunity to extend their lead when Akpele was felled in the box and McKenzie made no mistake from the spot, sending Phillips the wrong way to bag his third hat trick of the season.

In the fifty-fourth minute Ryan Boswell and Callum Chafer somehow combined in the Boro goalmouth to deny Phoenix what looked like a certain goal and then thirteen minutes later Carvell beat the offside trap but his low drive hit the inside of the post and bounced out to safety. Chris Barry went close for the Boro while another fantastic save by Chafer denied the hosts’ forward line, tipping over a header in a style reminiscent of the famous 1970 save pulled off by Gordon Banks against Brazil.

In the final moments of the game Romford nearly stretched their lead when a quick counter attack was lead by McKenzie and his pass found Bichard through on goal, but his effort was not strong enough to beat the keeper before the referee blew for full time making it four wins out of five for Romford and McKenzie moving up the division’s top goal scorer’s chart.

Phoenix Sports: Steve Phillips, Ryan Andrews, Ashley Probets, Alistair Gordon(Junior Baker 61), Jack Barry, Russell Bedford, Jack Hopkins, Steve Carvell (Dajon Golding 69), Michael Power, Theo Fairweather-Johnson (Ouani Malik 82) , Christie Pattison

Scorer – Michael Power (13′)

Romford: Callum Chafer, Ryan Boswell, Jamie Dicks (Chris Barry 18), Danny Cossington, James Ishmail, Jonathan Adebayo, Kai Bichard, Greg Akpele, Chinedu McKenzie, Nick Reynolds (Ayo Olokoga 90), Awwasi Marfo (Will Green 77)

Scorers – Chinedu McKenzie (9′, 35′, 51′)

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