Friday, July 19, 2024

Football: Vital away win for Romford

Thamesmead Town 1 Romford 2

Ryman North

Report by Gary Redwin

Romford stood up to a very physical Thamemead side to take the points in this feisty encounter.

Despite playing up the slope with the wind in their faces Boro did most of the attacking in the first half without creating many chances. Both sides struggled to play much football in the swirling gale and it was getting near to the break before either had a shot on goal with Callum Chafer having to tip over a Town effort and and Chinedu McKenzie’s fierce drive being saved by the keeper after he was put through by Chris Taylor. Thamesmead set the tone with a number of late challenges which were mostly spotted by the referee and rewarded with two yellow cards, but he chose to ignore a clear penalty in stoppage time when Ayo Olukoja had his legs swept away from under him as he controlled the ball with his back to goal in the box.

Now with the wind and slope, added to some driving rain in their favour, Romford’s attacks were more free- flowing after the interval with full backs Akwasi Marfo and Charlie Grimme-Yexley who was playing his last game before emigrating to New Zealand, pushing forward in support. In the fifty-second minute McKenzie ended his recent barren spell by getting a glancing header onto Taylor’s driven cross. Bowles in the Thamesmead goal should have got a stronger hand onto it but his touch could not prevent the ball trickling over the line. McKenzie could have got a second a few minutes later when he got clear but was tugged back from behind. The referee decided to play the advantage but the Romford striker had lost his momentum and could only shoot straight at the keeper with another yellow card for the home team being little consolation.

It was a precarious lead in such unpredictable conditions but Thamesmead’s hopes of getting back into the match were greatly reduced midway through the half as they went down to nine men after a couple of moments of madness. Firstly Smith, already on a yellow card received a second after doing well to break up a Boro attack in the corner by putting the ball into touch. The trouble was that he followed this up by booting the ball, and even more spectacularly the corner flag over the fence. Not long after there was another dismissal, this time a straight red card for Green who gave the referee no option with a punch to the face that split Kair Bichard’s lip. After some treatment the Boro midfielder who had been relishing the battle all afternoon, was back in action and extracted his revenge when McKenzie put him through to slip the ball under the keeper and give Romford some breathing space in the eighty second minute.

The visitors were now enjoying a lot of possession, using their numerical advantage well and with stand in centre backs Danny Cossington and Ryan Mallett both having great games at the heart of the defence, Thamesmead attacks were rare. However in the last minute of normal time they got a goal back with an excellent strike from the edge of the box by skipper Paul Vines. After all the stoppages, nearly ten minutes of added time followed and there were a couple of nervous moments for Boro before they were able to hear the final whistle and take a well earned three points back over the Dartford Crossing.

Thamesmead Town: Ollie Bowles, Laurent Mendy, Jay Porter, Ellis Green, Lewis Knight, Leon Smith, Ellis Brown (Jeremiah Efe 46′), Kaka Dembele (Michael Ademiluyi 46′), Paul Vines, Alex Teniola, Archie Johnson.

Romford: Callum Chafer, Charlie Grimme-Yexley, Akwasi Marfo, Danny Cossington (Capt), Ryan Mallett, Jonathan Adebayo, Kai Bichard (Chris Barry 85′), Ayo Olukoga, Chinedu McKenzie, Chris Taylor, Abdeen Abdul.

Scorers- Chinedu McKenzie (52′), Kai Bichard (82′)

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