Completely different test awaits Romford at Harlow, says boss Martin
09:00 12 August 2014
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Romford manager Paul Martin admits tonight’s match against Harlow Town will provide his side with a completely different kind of test compared to Burnham Ramblers, who they beat comfortably last weekend.
The Boro boss was pleased with the 4-0 victory his side achieved on Saturday but knows this evening’s Ryman One North contest on Harlow’s 3G Barrows Farm pitch will provide a sterner challenge.
Martin said: “Harlow will be a different kettle of fish. On a 3G pitch, they’ll be popping it about nice and quick.
“I haven’t got a problem with playing on 3G pitches. The tempo is quick, the ball doesn’t hold up but you need to be on your toes every minute because if you slip you can be punished.
“Last year we had two good games against them, they beat us last minute away and then it was another tight loss at home so they won’t fancy playing us and we won’t fancy playing them.”
Romford’s home ground, Ship Lane, is known as one of the best surfaces in the league, therefore Martin thinks his players will enjoy playing on Harlow’s slick 3G pitch.
He explained how difficult it can be for his team to adapt to different pitches and pointed to their strong home record as proof they can struggle to adapt at times.
“I think our home record last season speaks for itself,” Martin explained. “We didn’t lose many games because we can play football on it.
“It’s when we go away, play on other pitches and change our tactics when we struggle because you are telling the players one week to pass it about and another week to lump it long. You have to adapt to all surfaces and tonight will be no different.”
Martin has fitness concerns over forward Ryan Imbert, after the striker scored twice against Burnham before he was forced off with a dead leg.
The Romford boss is hopeful he can shake it off to lead the line against Harlow, he said: “My main concern is getting Ryan Imbert fit because he is on fire.
“He has a bit of confidence about him this season, last year he was a bit hot and cold but he has come in and hit the ground running.
“He has a thigh muscle problem, he took a bit of a battering after scoring twice and got a dead leg but I am hoping he will shake it off.”