Bostik North: Paul Martin proud of young Romford team after victory at Cheshunt
PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 December 2017
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The Ship Lane manager praised the efforts of his inexperienced side and reflected on the defence he had to select at Theobalds Lane
Paul Martin hailed the work rate of his Romford team after watching them end their 17-match run without a win in the Bostik North last night with a 4-2 victory away to Cheshunt.
It was a big game for both sides with just six points separating them at the bottom of the table, but it was the visitors who were all smiles afterwards.
Jason Hallett fired Cheshunt in front, but Jonathan Nzengo and Garrett Kelly, from the penalty spot, made it 2-1 to Boro at half time.
Chris Taylor grabbed Romford a third at the start of the second period and despite Hallett scoring again, Carlos Djalo wrapped up the points late on.
Martin said: “What’s happened at times this season is we’ve come off with a loss with no blood or sweat on the players, but you could see they had steam coming off them, sweat pouring off and their kits were filthy because they’ve put the effort in.
“What has been our downfall at times is not enough hunger and we played some good football at Cheshunt, but we also showed a lot more hunger to win the ball back quicker and press instead of slowing the game down and waiting.
“I think that is why we caught them on the counter-attack a couple of times and then they have thrown the gauntlet at us to nick a draw and we’ve caught them again.
“We got caught at Barking recently, but this time we’ve got the result and I do actually have a good record at Cheshunt anyway, so I’m pleased.”
It was a fully deserved win for Romford who recovered well after conceding with only three minutes played.
They dominated the rest of the first half and equalised in stunning fashion with 38 gone when Nzengo dribbled past a couple of opponents before drilling into the corner.
Stand-in captain Taylor then won a penalty before the break, which Kelly converted to make it 2-1 at the interval.
A stunning move involving the excellent Harry Daly and Djalo then saw Taylor head home Boro’s third in the 50th minute.
Cheshunt piled on the pressure afterwards and Hallett pulled one back 11 minutes later, but Romford defended well and grabbed a fourth when Nzengo played in Djalo and he poked home a minute from time.
Martin laughed when reflecting on Boro’s only other league victory this season - a 4-1 success at home to Tilbury
He added: “It does seem strange when you think we’ve only won two league games, but we’ve scored four times in both of them!
“I think ourselves and Cheshunt knew it was a win or bust sort of result because whoever lost was aware there would probably be trouble over Christmas.
“The game was wide-open and they missed a couple of good chances in the first half and so did we, but it was probably a good game to watch as a neutral because it was end-to-end.”
Romford could have been forgiven for thinking it was going to be another long night after losing James Ishmail to injury in the warm-up and then going a goal down early.
But Boro’s young back four of Ryan Burt-Allen, Teddy Perkins, Hugo Atkinson and Sam Mvemba stuck to the task and defended excellently for long periods.
Martin said: “We’ve been unlucky because Dan Cossington has been one of my key players and stars at the back and I’ve got Teddy in from Leyton Orient to partner him, but Dan had to only be on the bench at Cheshunt because of his tight hamstring.
“Instead I put Ishmail in and he broke down in the warm-up, so I’ve got a 17-year-old and 18-year-old pairing at centre back and a 19-year-old on the right and a boy who has just turned 17 at left-back, so that’s unbelievable.
“I felt we were disciplined throughout and I would have been disappointed had we slipped up.”