Monday, May 20, 2024

Football: Romford slip to unlucky defeat

AFC Hornchurch 1 v 0 Romford 0

Ryman League North

Report by Gary Redwin

ROMFORD manager Paul Martin surprised most people by leaving top scorer Chinedu McKenzie on the bench and decided to go for target man Nick Reynolds instead to match up with the very physical Hornchurch defenders, and it nearly paid off in the first minute when Charlie Grimme-Yexley cut in and his low effort was turned goalbound by Reynolds, but straight into the body of keeper Sam Mott.

Chris Taylor was booked in the seventh minute when he chased a ball over the top and his outstretched foot caught Mott who had come out to head the ball, while at the other end Callum Chafer denied Usman Adeniji when he raced clear four minutes later. Romford won a free kick that was hit forward to Taylor who knocked the ball down for Reynolds and he got his shot away quickly but with Mott thinking it was heading wide and not making an effort to save, the ball struck the upright and was cleared. Romford continued to pile on the pressure with Ryan Boswell’s cross nearly sneaking in but Mott got back to tip the ball over and Kai Bichard hit a stunning left foot volley in the eighteenth minute that saw the ball once again cannon off the upright and Grimme-Yexley’s low, powerful effort was pushed wide. From the resulting corner James Ishmail out jumped his marker but his header went just wide. Hornchurch rarely threatened Romford’s goal being restricted to a few long range efforts that sailed well over and Chafer was well placed to save a speculative shot that took a dangerous deflection.

Hornchurch had a great chance to open the scoring early in the second half but Ross Wall missed the golden opportunity while Urchins captain Elliot Styles headed wide from a corner. Leon McKenzie was lucky to escape with only a yellow card after shoving Ryan Mallett in the face before moments later ex Boro centre back Nathan Cooper only received a booking for a late, wild challenge on Ishmail that caused the Boro defender to need lengthy treatment off the pitch.

As tempers flared Mallett received a yellow card for hauling down McKenzie as he raced down the left wing before the game’s only goal came in the sixty-second minute. A long ball forward found Teddy Nesbitt running clear and after outmuscling Boswell he took a touch and fired low past Chafer. Romford pushed forward and near the end substitute Chinedu McKenzie was put through but as he was about to pull the trigger Cooper got back to make a goal saving challenge. There was still time for one last attack and a cross into the box seemed to hit a Hornchurch player’s outstretched arm but the referee turned down the appeals before blowing the final whistle.

So Romford’s three game unbeaten run against their local rivals come to an end, but it was a very good display which saw Boro, matching their promotion chasing opponents in all departments and pinning them back in defence for lengthy periods.

AFC Hornchurch: Sam Mott, Alex Bentley, Teddy Nesbitt, Kenzer Lee, Nathan Cooper, Jed Chouman, Elliot Styles, Ross Wall (Ayrton Coley 87), Leon McKenzie, Tobi Coker, Usman Adeniji

Scorer – Teddy Nesbitt (62′)

Romford: Callum Chafer, Ryan Boswell, Akwasi Marfo, James Ishmail, Ryan Mallett, Kai Bichard (Jack Brown-Sykes 81), Ayo Olukoga (Jonathan Adebayo 70), Charlie Grimme-Yexley, Nick Reynolds (Chinedu McKenzie 77), Chris Taylor, Greg Akpele

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