Romford boost survival hopes with Grays Athletic victory
PUBLISHED: 21:46 25 April 2018
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Bostik North: Romford 3 Grays Athletic 2
Romford gave themselves a fighting chance of survival going into the final day of the Bostik North season after securing a 3-2 victory against Grays Athletic.
Goals from Chris Taylor, Carlos Djalo and Greg Akpele sealed the three points for Boro despite a late fightback from Grays at Ship Lane and put them just two points behind relegation rivals Norwich United.
The hosts were boosted by the return of goalkeeper Rob Budd for the match meaning Nick Reynolds wouldn’t have to don the gloves and he returned to the bench.
Danny Cossington and Greg Akpele also came back into the starting line-up in place of Ernest Okoh and Kai Heather.
Romford broke the deadlock in the eighth minute thanks to Chris Taylor who stuck his foot out and tipped home a shot from Carlos Djalo to make it 1-0.
Both sides started moving the ball around but failed to create any real chances until the 23rd minute when midfielder Kris Newby chipped the ball over keeper Lamar Johnson and the ball struck the crossbar.
Nine minutes later Romford doubled their lead when in-form striker Djalo fired his shot into the bottom right corner after Jonathan Nzenga broke forward with the ball, pushing it wide to Greg Akpele, who looked to push it back inside instead finding Djalo in the box.
The hosts were let off in the dying stages of the second half as keeper Rob Budd tipped a close range attempt over the bar for a corner to stay two goals in front.
Djalo fired a shot over the bar from the edge of the box in the opening minute of the second-half.
Grays then started to find their feet and get into the game and keeper Budd had to come up trumps as pulled off a vital save to keep the score at 2-0.
Jamie Stuart’s men strung together a couple of chances with Tommy Wade turning and sending a shot just over the bar in the 57th minute.
Two minutes later it was top goal scorer Kieran Bishop’s turn as he let a shot fly from the left flank and it was deflected out for a corner.
In the 68th minute The Blues Ade Cole made a few nippy moves as the Romford defence laid down as they looked to block his shot but it found a way through and ends up going wide of the post
Striker Greg Akpele found the net in the 74th minute to make it 3-0 for the hosts.
With the minutes left in the match the visitors clawed one back as Wade bundled the ball home to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Grays then pulled a second goal back in the 93rd minute thanks to striker Bishop but it wasn’t enough.
Romford: Budd, Nzenga, Mvemba, Okoye, Porter, Cossington, Olukoga, Newby, Taylor, Djalo (Reynolds 90+1), Akpele (Okoh 74).
Unused subs: Gjini, Heather, Reynolds, Marfo.
Grays Athletic: Johnson, Thompson, Folkes (Gogo-Ibiama 87), Bruce (Cogan 46), Finneran, Halle, Mungo (Oli 45), Cole, Thomas, Bishop, Poole.
Unused subs: Simmonds and Mahal.