Imbert haunts former club Thurrock as Romford make it eight on the spin
09:31 02 April 2014
Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League
Ryman One North: Thurrock 1 Romford 2
Ryan Imbert’s brace earned Romford a league double over landlords Thurrock as another spirited display secured them an eighth consecutive Ryman One North win.
Bradley Warner had levelled for home side Fleet at Ship Lane after Imbert’s opener and after the former Dagenham & Redbridge striker grabbed his second, the visitors remained firm to grind out three more points.
The opening minutes were action-packed, as was much of the first half, as firstly a dangerous Thurrock cross was cleared before Imbert raced through but ballooned his shot over the bar.
Thurrock hitman David Knight dragged an effort across goal after Romford’s stand-in skipper Paul Clayton had headed Chris Barry’s corner wide before Boro did take the lead.
Barry was the instigator as he played a wonderful chipped pass through the static home back four, former Fleet forward Imbert raced through and showed superb composure to round Andy Walker and slot in the opener.
Ex-Boro forward Kurt Smith nearly forced an equaliser following an excellent run but Atu Ngoy saved well.
Knight soon had a glorious chance to level but dallied when put through and Ngoy was able to gather before Thurrock did force an equaliser.
Barry was caught inside his own half and Knight latched on to the loose ball before threading it through to Warner in space and he found the corner of the net.
Romford were under pressure now but fortunately for them Smith’s touch let him down at the crucial moment before Boro had to defend a succession of set pieces until the half–time whistle came.
Louis Hazelwood entered for Thurrock shortly after the interval and poked wide from a few yards out before Ngoy denied Smith from point-blank range.
Romford continued their defiance and that was rewarded with 68 minutes gone, as they grabbed the decisive second through Imbert.
Barry’s corner broke to Scott Truman, he fired goalwards and Imbert was on hand to smash in the loose ball for his eighth goal of the season.
The visitors needed Ngoy to make a vital intervention just a couple of minutes later as Smith split Boro’s defence with an exquisite pass that Hazelwood ran on to but out of nowhere, Ngoy tackled the Thurrock forward 25-yards-out of his goal.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Ngoy remained on his toes, firstly saving with ease from Fleet captain Lewwis Spence before claiming Smith’s deflected centre.
The visitors had to defend three corners in quick succession in added time but they were solid throughout and never looked like letting their lead slip for a second time and it extended their remarkable run.
Romford: Ngoy, Ottley, Dicks, Truman, Ishmail, Clayton, Barry (Oates 76), Seymour, Hart (Richardson 69), Imbert (Reynolds 90), Jones.