Ryman League North
Romford 1 VCD Athletic 0
Report by Gary Redwin
Chinedu McKenzie’s 26th league goal of the season secured a valuable three points for Romford on a cold afternoon at Ship Lane.
The Boro started brightly with Chris Taylor getting behind the defence in the second minute and his pass found Greg Akpele, but the winger’s shot was well saved; while at the other end VCD beat the offside trap but Callum Chafer was alert to save low down before using his feet to deny prolific striker Sherwin Stanley in the seventh minute.
Jonathan Adebayo curled a long range shot just over the bar in the twentieth minute before Romford opened the scoring two minutes later. Ryan Mallett, who performed magnificently in an unfamiliar role at centre back, won the ball on the halfway line before finding Adebayo, who slipped it in between two defenders allowing McKenzie to race through and pass the ball under the keeper and into the back of the net. In the thirty-eighth minute Akpele did well to find McKenzie in the box but the striker, who is now near the top of the Ryman North goal scoring chart, took too long to get his shot away and the chance went. As usual Danny Cossington was winning a lot in the air against taller opponents and he went close with a header from Chris Barry’s corner just before half time but it was well saved. VCD put together a good attack in first half injury time and Mitch Hahn curled a twenty yard effort to the far corner that Chafer excellently tipped around the post.
Five minutes into the second half Hahn bundled his way through Romford’s defence but the midfielder fired way over, while at the other end in the sixty-second minute a dangerous cross from Ayo Olukoga was nearly turned in by Taylor but his shot went over the bar.
Two minutes later McKenzie and Taylor were involved in a goalmouth scramble but the ball was blocked and finally cleared. A cross from the right was acrobatically volleyed wide by McKenzie and then the striker’s low left wing cross was just inches away from Adebayo. In the seventy-second minute a Barry corner was turned goalward by Cossington but the ball was cleared off the line and then shortly after another Barry corner was this time powerfully headed in by Mallett but once again the ball was cleared from the goal line.
Romford managed to see out the final fifteen minutes fairly comfortably to complete their first league double of the season and move them up to sixteenth place in the league and twelve points clear of the relegation zone.
Romford: Callum Chafer, Ryan Boswell, Akwasi Marfo, Danny Cossington, Ryan Mallett, Jonathan Adebayo, Ayo Olukoga, Greg Akpele, Chinedu McKenzie (Sam Coe 86), Chris Taylor, Chris Barry (Asher Modeste 79)
Scorer – Chinedu McKenzie (22’)
VCD Athletic: Henry Newcombe, Richard Butlet, Joseph Taylor, Nicky Symons, Joseph Bruce, Ricardo Joseph, David Fallah, Mitch Hahn, Sherwin Stanley, Lewis Perkins (Mitchell Chapman 78), Kojo Awotwi