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ROMFORD V WOODFORD TOWN MATCH REPORT – The Official Website Of The Essex Senior Football League


A stoppage time equaliser from Jake Gordon rescued a point for Boro in the proverbial game of two halves.

A draw looked unlikely as Boro trailed 3-0 at the break after a woeful first half at the end of which the visitors were good value for their lead, although things might have been different had Woodford defender Kai Peters not benefited from some lenient refereeing; the full back was lucky to still be on the pitch when he was substituted after 19 minutes.

The visitors ought to have gone ahead after just six minutes. Jake Anderson came out of his area in an attempt to clear; George Allen got there first, but unfortunately his clearance only found Woodford’s Montel McKenzie, and leaving Anderson stranded. McKenzie’s effort on goal crept just wide of the unguarded net.

Woodford’s Peters was shown a yellow card for a foul on Lewis Smith after seven minutes – the free-kick came to nothing – and after 13 minutes the Woodford defender committed an almost identical foul on Jesse Olukolu. To Woodford’s relief, and the amazement of everyone else, referee Pat Yates kept his cards in his pocket. Perhaps recognising their good fortune at remaining at full strength, Woodford subbed Peters shortly afterwards.

The visitors took a deserved lead through Luke Parrott after 24 minutes, the Woodford striker glancing a header home from penalty spot territory after being found – unmarked – by McKenzie’s cross from the left. It got worse for Boro after 39 minutes. Anderson had been forced into a save by Parrott’s shot that earned Woodford a corner. The ball was flicked across goal to Alejandro Machado at the far post and he buried his shot into Boro’s net.

A minute later it was 3-0 as Scott Doe’s poor pass conceded possession and Parrott’s cross was converted by Kyrell Lisbie, the man who had replaced Peters. The final action of the half involved Alejandro Machado, who dragged back Charlie Morris to earn a 42nd minute yellow card that would be significant shortly after the restart.

Romford’s best efforts of the first 45 minutes were a header from Morris that was just over the bar, a shot from Emmanuel Robe that was narrowly wide, and a tame lob into goalkeeper Jake Haskins’ arms by Jesse Olukolu.

George Cox and Kris Newby made way for Jacob Wiggins and Jack Glenister at the start of the second half, and a foul on Wiggins on the edge of his own penalty area after 51 minutes sparked a flare up involving a dozen or so players at that ended with Jesse Olukolu and Woodford’s Machado shown yellow cards, the Woodford player’s second caution and therefore a red. Woodford’s Ben Byrne was cautioned shortly afterwards for a poor challenge on Morris, and after 61 minutes another foul on Morris – in the penalty area as he shaped to shoot – gave Boro a penalty and a lifeline. With regular penalty takers Newby and Gordon not on the pitch, Lewis Smith took responsibility and converted his spot-kick.

Lewis Smith lines up to take Boro’s penalty. Picture: Steve Gardener

Numerical parity was temporarily restored when Jacob Wiggins was sin binned after Boro had won a free-kick in a second half that grew increasingly tetchy and which the referee found progressively more difficult to manage. It’s fair to say that neither manager will be sending him Christmas cards this year. Boro then reduced the arrears with Emmanuel Robe’s first league goal since the opening day at Buckhurst Hill when good work by Olukolu presented him with the chance to drive a low shot into the net after 73 minutes, and after 79 minutes, Robe hit a post from Smith’s corner.

Finally, with four minutes of stoppage time played, Jake Gordon found space on the edge of the Woodford penalty area and fired a low shot into the corner of Haskins’ net. Seconds later the referee decided to dispense with any additional stoppage time (he could legitimately have played another five minutes) by calling full-time.

By no means a fluent Boro performance – too many passes were off beam, and possession was conceded too easily, especially in the first half – but a fighting spirit and a determination to carry on playing a patient, passing style eventually reaped its reward. Woodford on the other hand will be mightily disappointed that their efforts earned them just a single point.

Romford: Jake Anderson, Bleron Ademi (Jake Gordon, 74m), Danny Hurford, Kris Newby (Jacob Wiggins, 46m), Scott Doe, George Allen, Jesse Olukolu, George Cox (Jack Glenister, 46m), Emmanuel Robe, Lewis Smith, Charlie Morris. Unused subs: Josh Wiggins, Toby Barlow


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