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Bostik North: Barking 2 Romford 0

PUBLISHED: 08:39 26 November 2017

Ben O'Brien heads Barking into the lead against Romford (pic Terry Gilbert)

Ben O'Brien heads Barking into the lead against Romford (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking dispatched Romford to extend their unbeaten league run to nine games, while ending Boro’s four-match streak, at Mayesbrook Park on Saturday.

Barking attack against Romford at Mayesbrook Park (pic Terry Gilbert) Barking attack against Romford at Mayesbrook Park (pic Terry Gilbert)

It is also now 492 minutes since Barking last conceded a league goal, as they climbed up to fifth place in the table and left Boro two points adrift at the bottom.

Ben O’Brien opened the score for the home side with a towering header from Ricky Tarbard’s cross just 11 minutes into the game. It was his 49th goal in 327 appearances for the club.

From then it seemed like one-way traffic despite Barking failing to make their possession count in the first half.

Romford came to life in the second half and started positively, throwing bodies forward in attempt to snatch an equaliser.

Kiernan Hughes-Mason attacks for Barking against Romford (pic Terry Gilbert) Kiernan Hughes-Mason attacks for Barking against Romford (pic Terry Gilbert)

Garrett Kelly showed good composure on the ball to orchestrate play with Sam Mvemba, Craig Jeakins and Jonathan Nzengo looking lively through the channels.

But when Boro couldn’t make their most exciting spells of play count, a wonderfully crafted through ball on the counter-attack from Blues substitute Ryan Reed found Kieran Hughes-Mason who latched on perfectly with acres of space to run into.

With only the keeper to beat, Hughes-Mason rounded Leyton Orient loanee Arthur Janata in the Boro goal and slotted home for his fifth league goal of the season. With only 10 minutes left to play and the game all but dead and buried Romford showed great spirit to try and claw a goal back, but Chris Taylor could only put his effort straight into Ollie Bowles’ hands in what capped off a solid defensive display for Barking centre halves JJ Da Cruz and Hussain Jaffa.

Blues boss Justin Gardner said: “If I’m honest I don’t think we were great today. First half I think we were slightly the better team but for me Romford were definitely the better team second half.

Ryan Reed on the attack for Barking against Romford (pic Terry Gilbert) Ryan Reed on the attack for Barking against Romford (pic Terry Gilbert)

“We were fortunate. I don’t think Ollie had too many saves to make but we looked like we were happy with the one goal and Romford really set out to try and get back into it.

“They will probably be gutted that they didn’t get a goal in the second half and we sort of hit them on the counter attack for our second goal.”

Romford boss Paul Martin added: “In all fairness it wasn’t good enough. The first half performance wasn’t good enough and the second half performance, I thought we played a lot better and we forced them back, but you can’t say that when you come away losing 2-0.”

“Because we didn’t perform in the first half, they were supposed to have loads of energy because they had nothing to show for the first 45 minutes.

“The second half. We played some better football but at the end of the day we’ve been beaten by our own mistakes again.”

Barking: Bowles, Tarbard, Abiola (Marfo 68), O’Brien, Jaffa, Da Cruz, Taylor, Seymour, Gilchrist (Reed 73), Hughes-Mason (Shaban 89), Levett. Unused subs: Adeyemi, Knight.

Romford: Janata, Olukoga, Atkinson (N Reynolds 86), Cossington, Finneran, Kelly, Daly, Nzengo, Taylor, Giwa (Djalo 46), Mvemba (Jeakins 70). Unused subs: Shilling, S Reynolds.

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