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Martin must wait for return

Romford boss Paul Martin. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO Romford boss Paul Martin. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

George Sessions
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
5:00 PM

Romford boss frustrated as weather hits hard

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Romford boss Paul Martin hoped to be back in the dugout for his side’s Ryman One North Boxing Day clash with landlords Thurrock - but the weather ruined that.

The postponement of Saturday’s meeting with Needham Market means Martin has one more match to sit out, following his five-game stadium ban.

Assistant boss Mark Lord is also unavailable for the Ship Lane showdown, which leaves reserve-team boss Alex Goldstone to take the reins for the day – if the match goes ahead.

Martin said: “I don’t mind the festive period and our players all had their Christmas drinks on Saturday so they’ll all be fine for the games coming up.

“The postponement was frustrating because I miss Boxing Day now and Lordy misses that as well because it is his daughter’s birthday.

“We’ve got Alex Goldstone in charge and our physio Kate will be there, so they’ll do the job.

“I’ll just prep the players and do what I would normally do, but let them get on with it. It has been a bit like playing fantasy football at the moment.”

Whether Thursday’s game goes ahead or not is up for debate, given the latest band of wet weather to hit the UK at the start of Christmas week.

Romford are due to play two home matches after that as well, against Erith & Belvedere on Saturday and Aveley on New Year’s Day and Martin is unhappy that his spell away from the sidelines could continue longer than first initially expected.

He added: “I can’t wait to get back. Problem is, although we have got a lovely pitch, it does hold up water in patches and because nobody can work on it every day it might not be up to it.

“I don’t know if it will get on for Thurrock because of the weather and we have Erith & Belvedere after which might not make it.

“It seems my ban could go on a lot longer than I imagined. I haven’t worked a Saturday in 20 years but I’ve had to do the last two and I’ve hated it!”

Romford have finally found some consistency in Martin’s absence, which he demanded, and although his presence hasn’t been felt on the touchline, his decisions have contributed to the recent run.

It was Martin’s idea to move Joe Oates into midfield and that decision has been a huge success.

Martin praised his side, adding: “The story this season has been that we haven’t been scoring enough goals, we’ve been losing games 2-1 and 3-2 but now we are scoring and keeping clean sheets.

“It has been fantastic. Seven points out of nine and I did call that to be fair.

“It was a good run to come into, the fixtures were pleasant but that should not take anything away from us.”

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