Bostik North: Witham Town 1 Romford 0
PUBLISHED: 21:42 17 April 2018
Romford slipped back to the bottom of the table as Witham substitute Shamido Pedulu ended their six-match unbeaten run with an 80th-minute winner at Spa Road.
Boro had climbed one point above fellow strugglers Norwich United after a goalless draw with high-flying Potters Bar at the weekend, but an untimely defeat and unexpected success for the Planters at Canvey Island saw the two sides swap positions again with only three matches remaining this season.
Boro’s destiny is out of their hands once again as they prepare to head to Brentwood at the weekend.
Witham, having rung the changes from their weekend mauling by Hornchurch with another match coming up on Thursday, won an early corner, which was hooked downfield by Nick Reynolds, before Danny Cossington fired over from 25 yards for the visitors on four minutes.
Corey Davidson spooned an attempt from a similar distance over Rob Budd’s crossbar, but Jonathan Nzengo then produced a good run from right back and Ayodeji Olukoga and Nick Reynolds helped the ball on to Ernest Okoh on the right, but his touch was a bit heavy and Bobby Mason was quickly off his line to smother.
Sam Mvemba sliced a left-wing cross behind for a Witham corner, which was then glanced across the face of goal on 12 minutes.
But it was some encouragement for the hosts, after Boro had appeared to settle reasonably quickly, and Lewis Payne tried his luck from fully 35 yards, with Budd patting down the attempt.
Elliot Ronto then saw a tempting free-kick into the six-yard box almost spilled by Budd into the path of an oncoming Witham player, while Cossington headed over from a long throw-in from Reynolds just before the half-hour mark.
Play became a bit scrappy after that, though, and Witham were forced into a change before the break as Chinedu Osadebe limped off to be replaced by former Boro striker Ryan Imbert.
And the visitors had to scramble away a couple of corners late in the half, as Witham applied pressure before the interval.
The home side made a bright start to the second half too, but Carlos Djalo’s superb 50-yard run was halted illegally by Tyler Corbett, who was booked, and the subsequent Djalo free-kick deflected off the wall and over the crossbar on 52 minutes.
Tom Potter’s header from the corner went wide of the far post and the Boro defender was left needing treatment, then saw Max Wilson run onto a long ball and send a shot just over Budd’s goal as he was making his way back to his position from halfway.
Budd was alert to reach a through ball ahead of Davidson, before Okoh made room on the edge of the box at the other end, but could not keep his shot down.
There was more frustration for Okoh as he twisted and turned on the right, but ran out of room and took the ball over the byline when supporters were begging for him to cross into the six-yard box.
An inswinging Ronto free-kick went behind off a Romford head and Jack Kemsley fired over from the resulting corner, before both sides made changes, with Marfo replacing Mvemba for Romford and Pedulu coming on for Robinson.
And Okoye’s header from a Djalo free-kick was straight at Mason soon after, before Okoh burst into the box and saw an angled drive tipped behind.
Witham then twice broke through Pedulu and saw Davidson fire straight at Budd, before Wilson also saw a low drive smothered by the Boro keeper.
Davidson flashed another left-footed effort over, but turned provider 11 minutes from time with a diagonal ball in from the left touchline that found Pedulu in behind the Boro defence to stab past Budd.
Boro sent Kai Heather on for Cossington straight after the goal, but Davidson curled a left-footed free kick over the angle of post and crossbar as Witham went closest to scoring again in the final minutes.
Witham: Mason, Mallett, Hayes, Payne, Corlett, Kemsley, Osadebe (Imbert 41), Ronto, Wilson (Gyebi 83), Robinson (Pedulu 64), Davidson. Unused subs: Whipps, Anderson.
Romford: Budd, Nzengo, Mvemba (Marfo 64), Potter, Okoye, Cossington (Heather 80), Olukoga, Taylor, Reynolds (Onokwai 75), Djalo, Okoh. Unused subs: Clarke, Gjini.
Referee: Carl Pearse.