Brightlingsea Regent 4 v 1 Romford
Ryman League North
Report by Phil Redwin
Brightlingsea win Ryman Division 1 North
A comprehensive defeat for Romford at the seaside confirmed the championship and promotion for Brightlingsea.
Boro began strongly, immediately forcing a corner but the kick was over hit allowing Brightlingsea to break and ex-Romford man Tom Richardson found Phil Kelly who ran along the edge of the box and shot back across goal to beat Callum Chafer and give the hosts exactly the start they were looking for. Romford struggled to get their game together with their opponents seemingly more acclimatised to their bumpy pitch and Chafer did brilliantly to change direction twice to keep out a Regent shot which took a double deflection. The visitors’ best first half effort was a fourteenth minute dribble and shot from Akwasi Marfo, which the keeper did well to get down to. Regent were looking more likely to stretch their lead and they did five minutes before the break through a Billy Hunt left footed shot; it was 3-0 three minutes later when a long throw found its way into the goalmouth to be bundled in from close range by Aaron Condon.
Any hopes Romford had of getting something out of the match seemed a forlorn hope as after only three minutes of the second half Brightlingsea again quickly turned defence into attack and a long ball put Hunt clear to claim his second goal. Boro did manage to stem the tide for the rest of the half, surviving some scares but also seeing Greg Akpele’s shot well saved and skipper James Ishmail’s header go just wide from a corner.
Going into the last quarter with the game virtually won, the attention of the home support was focused on events at Maldon, where anything less than a win for the home team would bring the championship to Brightlingsea, but Romford were not going down without a fight and were pushing forward to have their best spell of the match. Chances were created and the home defence put under pressure before Chris Barry’s corner was headed in by Ryan Mallet via the underside of the crossbar in the eighty third minute to make the score a little more respectable. As the final whistle approached news came through that Maldon had only managed a draw and the celebrations began.
With all clubs now having just three games to play, Romford are in a creditable fourteenth league position but have a tough Easter coming up at Ship Lane at home to second placed Maldon & Tiptree and then ‘away’ to fourth placed Thurrock.
Brightlingsea Regent: Sam Cowler, Pip Boyland, Jake Gould, Connor Witherspoon (Connor Hogan 72′), Josh Gould, Matt Cripps, Billy Hunt, George Doyle, Tom Richardson (Robbie Rees 66′), Phil Kelly (Russell Malton 77′), Aaron Condon.
Scorers – Phil Kelly (2′), Billy Hunt (40′), Aaron Condon (43′), Billy Hunt (48′).
Romford: Callum Chafer, Ryan Boswell, Kwasi Marfo (Chris Barry 60′), Charlie Parrish, Tom Potter, James Ishmail, Ayodeji Olukoga, Greg Akpele, Chinedu McKenzie, Chris Taylor, Will Green (Jack Browne-Sykes 69′).
Scorer – Jack Browne-Sykes (83′).