Bostik North: Paul Martin delighted to make modern Romford history with shoot-out win over Tilbury in the Velocity Trophy
PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 September 2017
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Boro halted their poor run by progressing in the Velocity Trophy last night, but experienced manager has promised he’ll sort out league form
Paul Martin joked it was about time Romford won a penalty shoot-out after seeing his team progress in the Velocity Trophy last night.
Boro and Tilbury couldn’t be separated after 90 minutes of play at Ship Lane and so penalties were required.
Romford scored all five of their spot-kicks and Stephen Reynolds made a decisive save off the Dockers fourth effort, which sent Martin’s side into round two of the tournament.
He said: “Both teams had a tinker and Tilbury are not doing too dissimilar to us if you look at their results and performances.
“We both experimented and I played my centre midfielder at right-back because my right-back is going off to university next week.
“A lot of new boys were involved and I gave a debut to Michael Finneran, who I have been trying to sign for years.
“I have finally managed to get him over and he was good and I have given him the captain’s armband because he is a leader.
“Connor Hammond also did well on the left, so there were a lot of positives to come from the match.
“I was told after it is only the second penalty shoot-out we have won during my 10 years as manager and it is the first time we have scored all five since we reformed as a club in 1992, so it was about time wasn’t it.”
Martin’s team came into the contest in poor form following a run of five consecutive defeats in all competitions.
Bowers & Pitsea handed them a 5-0 loss at the weekend, but Romford were able to bounce back in the cup.
Aaron Waters headed the Dockers in front at Ship Lane with 12 minutes played, but Greg Akpele equalised for Boro in the 72nd minute.
Despite some late chances, neither side could find a winner and so a penalty shoot-out took place and Martin was pleased to see Reynolds take the plaudits.
He added: “Even when we were 1-0 down I still thought we would get back in the game and Greg took his goal well.
“We could have probably won it before penalties and made it easier for ourselves, but Stephen saved one, so we went through after the shoot-out.
“I think I have two of the best goalkeepers in the league and on Saturday (Michael) Gooch has hardly had a save to make, but we’ve lost 5-0 because they’ve scored from four set-pieces.
“Of course it doesn’t help having a number of teenagers at the back who are finding their feet, so I just need to spend time with them on the training ground.”
Boro’s bad form in the division sees them 23rd in the table with only four points from their opening seven games.
The fixture list has been quite unkind, however, with Romford facing five of the top seven already.
Martin said: “Normally we give the top teams a game, but the last couple of years they seem to be getting stronger and we are constantly trying to rebuild with youngsters.
“If you look at our other results, we beat Tilbury, we lost 1-0 to Soham Town Rangers because of an error, so that is two points dropped, but we also got a draw with Bury Town.
“The top six are just too powerful and I try to win every game, but if you come off having lost 5-0 with all of the lads working hard then there is not a lot you can say.
“All I’d ask is for people to judge me in April, not now and as Winston Churchill would say, we just need to keep working hard and success will come.”