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Ryman Division 1N: Romford 2 Soham Town 3

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Romford let a two-goal lead slip in the proverbial game of two halves at Ship Lane yesterday.

Captain Paul Clayton and Nick Reynolds netted late in the first period to give Boro a 2-0 advantage, which slightly flattered them.

But free-scoring Soham hit back with three goals in a 13-minute spell soon after the restart to turn things around and claim the points.

The deadlock was broken five minutes before half-time when Alfie Hilton’s deep corner found Matt Toms, making his 100th appearance in Romford colours, at the far post and his looping header was cleared off the line.

Reynolds and Lewis Payne saw follow-up attempts blocked by Soham defenders, but the ball was sent back into the box and Clayton touched it deftly inside the post.

Soham were inches away from an equaliser on 44 minutes when Michael Gooch spilled Louis Baucutt’s ball into the box and Robbie Mason saw his effort come back off the far post.

And Romford then doubled their lead in stoppage time when Toms swept a long ball out to Reece Hewitt, a replacent for Elliot Long, on the left and he beat his man to send in a low cross which Reynolds forced past Tom Bircham from close range.

The start of the second half was delayed due to an injury to one of the linesmen, before Joe Allen, a 16-year-old from Rainham, came to rescue.

Rain had started to fall as the teams emerged and Boro needed a good save from Gooch to deny Buster Harradine inside two minutes.

But Soham got one back on 49 minutes when Mason, having appeared to use his hand in the build-up, saw a well-struck shot deflected past the diving Gooch and inside the far post.

And they were back on terms when Mason’s cross from the left skidded off the wet turf and reached Matthew Robinson, whose hooked effort hit Joe Oates and looped over Gooch.

Worse was to come for Boro just past the hour when Harradine found space on the left, as the hosts looked for an offside flag from the young stand-in, and his low cross was steered home by Robinson.

Soham, having scored six at Harlow in midweek, smelled blood and Simpson might have completed a hat-trick but headed straight at Gooch.

Tom Richardson fired wide of the near post at the other end and after Gooch saved from Mason, Baucutt glanced a header just past the post.

But Boro came close to an equaliser late on, when Adam Salmon’s free-kick from halfway reached Toms and his low drive flashed across the face of goal and behind.

Romford: Gooch, Salmon, Oates, Payne, Toms, Clayton, Richardson (Turner 86), Hilton (Ishmail 74), Reynolds, Imbert, Long (Hewitt 30).

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