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McKenzie treble sees Romford past Phoenix

PUBLISHED: 16:45 31 December 2016

Chinedu McKenzie celebrates a goal for Romford (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Chinedu McKenzie celebrates a goal for Romford (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Phoenix Sports 1 Romford 3

Chinedu McKenzie’s hat-trick fired Romford to their fourth Ryman North win in five outings and ensured they ended 2016 on a winning note in south London.

McKenzie’s latest treble – after he hit three goals in a 4-1 win over Wroxham three weeks ago – took his tally for the season to an impressive 23 with 20 matches still left to play in the new year.

And Boro boss Paul Martin will be hoping his side can maintain their momentum and climb further up the table in 2017, starting at Ware on Monday.

Martin made two changes to his starting line-up from Wednesday’s clash with landlords Thurrock, as Greg Akpele and Kwasi Marfo returned from illness to replace Jamie Age and Will Green, while the hosts included former Boro skipper Jack Barry in their side.

And unlike on their visit to nearby VCD Athletic on December 13, when they fell 2-0 down in the first half, they took the lead after only nine minutes as McKenzie opened his account for the day.

Boro’s joy was shortlived as Michael Power got Phoenix back on terms four minutes later and Martin was forced to make a change on 18 minutes, replacing Jamie Dicks with Chris Barry.

But they back in front on 35 minutes when McKenzie found the target for the second time and he made it 3-1 when he completed his hat-trick just six minutes into the second half.

Boro protected their lead in the time that remained, with Green getting a late run-out in place of Marfo and record goalscorer Nick Reynolds replaced by Ayo Olukoga in the final minute, having not been able to add to his 68-goal tally for the club.

And Martin’s men will travel to Ware, who lost 1-0 at home to Dereham Town and find themselves just outside the relegation zone, with plenty of confidence as they look to begin the new year on a positive note.

Romford: Chafer, Boswell, Dicks (Barry 18), Cossington, Ishmail, Adebayo, Bichard, Akpele, McKenzie, Reynolds (Olukoga 90), Marfo (Green 79). Unused subs: Taylor, Mallett.

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