Saturday, March 2, 2024

Football: Romford salvage point in six goal thriller

Ryman League North

Romford 3 v 3 Heybridge Swifts

Report by Scott Lanza

Last grasp goals grab Boro a share of the spoils

ROMFORD won their last two games with last-ditch winners and were able to snatch a draw on Saturday after scoring twice in added time. It was a superb way to close the show having opened it up by taking the lead in the third minute. At that point Swifts had almost taken the lead themselves when Adam Boul beat Boro’s offside trap but his strike produced a good save from Callum Chafer. A minute later and David Fallah was making it a dream Boro debut by getting on the end of a Chinedu McKenzie cross and firing off a shot that Liam Moore fumbled, with the ball spilling into the net.

Boro had seen that their opponents had a fast front line having almost been caught out by it very early on, but they didn’t take any heed and were punished in the eight minute when another ball over the top set Reece Grant free. The former Millwall youth player kept his composure and punished the poor Boro defending by smashing the ball past Chafer.

Romford maybe had the better of the early chances as Chris Barry had a whizzing effort tipped away by Moore. The Swifts keeper also made further amends for his early mishap by bravely coming off his line to curtail a Romford manoeuvre which unleashed McKenzie, who bore down on goal before Moore’s timely intention to claim the ball. McKenzie had the best chance of the half after his pace saw him take out the Swifts backline then unleash a shot that thumped against the post. Swifts at least tested Chafer when George Cole sent over a freekick. Jack Cawley also went close with a header.

Boro had certainly had more possession and the better of the chances at the half way point of the half, but it was Swifts who then took the lead in the 36th minute; a short ball from Adam Boul was headed past Chafer at close range by Lewis Godbold. The visitors upped their game after taking the lead and Ryan Boswell and Tom Potter both combined to stop Adam Yusuff inflicting any further damage. However a corner that swirled around the Boro box was not cleared effectively, hitting a number of players that resulted in a goal-line melee that ended with Yusuff slotting the ball home, extending Heybridge Swifts’ lead as the half-time whistle approached.

Boro needed an early goal in the second half to get themselves back in the game and McKenzie wasted no time crossing from the right in the opening seconds. The ball made its way to Chris Taylor but he was put under pressure from Lewis Dark and so wasn’t able to get a clean touch of the ball and poked his shot wide. After that early scare Swifts responded by putting men behind the ball and shutting up shop. Boro kept trying to get forward by going through their opponent’s middle and found their way blocked time and time again; there was no width to Boro’s attacks and so Heybridge were able to shut down their hosts.

Danny Cossington went close with a header for Boro before Yusuff charged through the Boro defence before Potter put in a brave challenge just as the Swifts forward was about to let rip. Cole also had a shot tipped away by Chafer, while Boul wasn’t too far away with a header after a long throw-in from the far touchline by Cawley.

When Taylor won a corner in the 63rd minute it woke the hosts up and they kept the pressure on when Ayodeji Olukoga picked up a loose ball just outside the Swifts box that he flashed towards goal which Moore pushed behind. A sense of urgency had now returned to Boro’s play and Fallah held off a challenge from Gullism Ramon then teed up McKenzie whose drive from outside the box was a lick of paint away from crashing into the net.

Boro needed to pull one back but the longer the game went on the more it favoured their Essex rivals. Paul Martin then made a double substitution bringing on Jonathan Adebayo and Nick Reynolds for Chris Taylor and Abdeen Abdul. Adebayo got into the thick of the action straight away, working his way into the Heybridge box but the ball didn’t sit kindly for him and he found himself unable to fire off a shot; however Fallah twice crashed in solid shots that saw Moore pull of two equally top quality saves, the second of which rebounded back to McKenzie whose header wasn’t on target. Swifts were not going to give their hosts anything and a through ball aimed at Reynolds was headed away by Dark. With Heybridge now defending in numbers it restricted Boro to long range efforts with Adebayo and Mallet both letting fly from distance, neither of which troubled the Swifts goal.

With normal time now up Boro then pulled one back when a corner was cleared by the Swifts defence but fell to Mallet who drilled in a shot from outside the penalty box that screamed into the bottom left hand corner. It wasn’t a case of too little too late either as there was further last ditch drama. With 95 minutes on the clock James Ishmail picked up a loose ball and slammed it past Moore to earn Boro a share of the points.

Romford: Callum Chafer, Ryan Boswell, Chris Barry, Tom Potter, James Ishmail (Capt), Danny Cossington, Ayodeji Olukoga (Ryan Mallet 80′), David Fallah, Chinedu McKenzie, Chris Taylor (Jonathan Adebayo 73′), Abdeen Abdul (Nick Reynolds 73′).

Scorers – David Fallah (3′), Ryan Mallet (45+2′), James Ishmail (45+4′)

Heybridge Swifts: Liam Moore, Marley Andrews, Gullism Ramon, Harry Morgan, Jack Cawley, Lewis Dark, Lewis Godbold, Adam Boul, Adam Yusuff, George Cole (Capt), Reece Grant (Alieu Njie 87′).

Scorers – Reece Grant (8′), Lewis Godbold (36′), Adam Yusuff (43′)


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