Bostik North: Romford 2 Barking 1
PUBLISHED: 08:46 25 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:46 25 February 2018
Relegation-threatened Romford ended a nine-game losing streak with a morale-boosting win at Ship Lane on Saturday.
But a first defeat in five matches left Barking six points off a play-off place at the other end of the table.
Boro went into the match of a humbling 9-1 midweek loss at Heybridge Swifts and following news released late in the week that Thurrock’s ground was to be sold and they would again need to find somewhere to play their home fixtures next season.
But Paul Martin’s men dug deep to claim three vital points in their battle against the drop, to close to within two points of fellow strugglers Cheshunt, who lost 4-1 at Aveley.
The home side took the lead on 29 minutes through Craig Jeakins, who had another effort ruled out for offside in the second half.
And they doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time when Greg Akpele converted from the penalty spot, despite Emmanuel Olajide guessing the right way and getting a good hand on the ball.
Jeakins and Akpele led from the front for the hosts with their tireless work rate, as Ayo Olukoga and Jonathan Nzengo combined well in midfield.
Danny Cossington, Adam McGeorge and Andrew Tirnahu held firm at the back in front of Rob Budd, who was denied a clean sheet in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Izzy Bademosi replied for Barking.
But it was only a consolation for the visitors, who had to wear Romford’s change shirts due to a clash of colours, as Martin’s men celebrated a rare triumph.
Boro will hope to build on this win when they welcome lowly Norwich United on Wednesday, while Blues will have to wait a week to try and put the loss out of their system when they entertain second-placed Bowers.
Romford: Budd, Olukoga, Nzengo, Cossington, McGeorge, Tiranhu, Taylor, Gjini (Clarke 89), Jeakins, Akpele, Hammonds. Unused subs: Hammond, Onokwai, Daly, Okoye.
Barking: Olajide, Tarbard, Nesbitt, Levett (Gilchrist 65), Adeyemi, Da Cruz (Peart 48), Jones, Seymour, Darboe, Bademosi, Ramadan (Hughes-Mason 48).
Unused subs: Marfo, Jaffa.