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Romford sunk by Sudbury in FA Trophy

PUBLISHED: 18:21 12 November 2016

Romford and Sudbury players observe a minute silence before their FA Trophy tie

Romford and Sudbury players observe a minute silence before their FA Trophy tie

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Sudbury 4 Romford 0

Romford chairman Steve Gardener talks to former chairman Dave Howie at Sudbury Romford chairman Steve Gardener talks to former chairman Dave Howie at Sudbury

Romford’s run in the FA Trophy came to an end in soggy Suffolk on the 3G pitch of Ryman Premier Division hosts Sudbury.

Boro fell behind in the opening quarter of an hour, but gave the home side a few scares and hit the post before conceding a second goal on the hour.

Two more goals in the final five minutes added late gloss for Sudbury, who had won their last four home matches in league and cup competitions by an aggregate score of 19-4, with three away defeats suffered inbetween times.

Boro, unbeaten on their own turf in 15 matches stretching back to last season, had won at nearby Bury Town and also beaten Molesey and Horsham in the previous two rounds of this competition to well and truly put their early-season struggles on the road behind them.

Romford and Sudbury players shake hands before their FA Trophy tie Romford and Sudbury players shake hands before their FA Trophy tie

And the visitors had a good chance in the third minute when Jonathan Adebayo broke out from his own box from a Sudbury throw-in, with Ayodeji Olukoga and Chinedu McKenzie waiting for a through ball, which was cut out by the home defence.

Ryan Mallett then skipped through midfield after McKenzie had cut out a sloppy Sudbury pass and was caught by a lunging tackle to earn a free-kick some 35 yards from goal in a central position.

And Jamie Dicks saw his effort deflect off the Sudbury defensive wall and skip off the greasy surface, before being pushed aside by a diving Marcus Garnham.

Sam Bantick let fly for the home side a minute later, with Callum Chafer pushing the ball behind for a corner, and Luke Callander headed over from Rob Eagle’s left-wing cross in the 11th minute to sound another warning for the visitors.

Sudbury on the attack against Romford in their FA Trophy tie Sudbury on the attack against Romford in their FA Trophy tie

Dylan Williams produced a driving run on the right for Sudbury, getting to the byline and pulling the ball back, but Adebayo was on hand to clear the danger for Boro and Will Green raced 50 yards upfield before being well tackled.

Nick Reynolds helped a ball on for McKenzie to screw his shot wide of the near post as Boro got a brief glimpse of goal at the other end, but they were behind seconds later as Ryan Boswell lost out to Callander, who slid the ball into the box for Bantick to sidefoot inside the left post.

Jack Wilkinson and Eagle combined on the left again soon after, with the low centre reaching Callander, whose scuffed effort was deflected over the bar by Matt Toms, before Craig Parker’s header from the resulting corner was saved by Chafer.

Eagle then fizzed a 20-yard drive just over Chafer’s crossbar as Sudbury continued to threaten and Boro had a let-off when Eagle swung the ball into the box, Toms blocked it, and Callander was denied by Chafer’s brave dive at his feet as the ball rebounded behind for a goal kick.

McKenzie then pounced on a loose ball in midfield and tried his luck from range, seeing his shot deflected off Adam Tann and over the crossbar for a Boro corner, which sadly came to nothing.

The 13-goal striker pulled the trigger again soon after, from the left corner of the box when found by Boswell’s astute pass, but could not keep the ball down and it cleared the crossbar by some margin.

The visitors had something of a scare on 33 minutes when Chafer flapped at Eagle’s free-kick and Olukoga clashed heads with a Sudbury rival at the far post.

But Adebayo’s searching crossfield ball then found Green, who skipped inside and teed up Ryan Mallett, only for him to pull his 20-yard shot beyond the far post.

Eagle found more space on the left to flash a dangerous centre into the box and after Callander’s intitial effort hit a Boro defender, James Baker was denied by Boswell’s brave, yet painful block.

But Boro countered and McKenzie delivered a right-wing cross for Reynolds, who was beaten to it by Garnham, and Romford’s 27-year-old striker then saw a shot on the turn saved by the Sudbury keeper, after Olukoga had set up the shooting chance seven minutes before the interval.

Bantick tested Chafer with a well-struck low drive, which almost squirmed under Boro’s birthday boy, and Dan Cossington did well to deny the former Hornchurch striker when Eagle swung in yet another dangerous cross from the left.

But the visitors then had a great chance on 41 minutes when Mallett found Green on the left and he crossed for McKenzie, whose first-time, left-footed effort was pawed away by the right hand of Garnham.

Boro were looking more confident as the first half drew to a close and Olukoga tried his luck from fully 25 yards, but was found wanting as the ball sailed over the target.

Then Green’s long diagonal pass looked to put McKenzie in for a shot at goal, but he unselfishly squared for Reynolds, who sliced his effort and the woodwork denied Boro in the closing seconds, when McKenzie cut in from the right but saw his left-footed shot clip the outside of the far post.

It was an encouraging finish to the first 45 minutes for Boro, though, and will have given Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold – in charge of his 100th match – something to think about during the half-time interval.

And a good run and cross by Green, within two minutes of the restart, almost caught the hosts out as McKenzie clipped the ball back from the far post but found no team-mate in support.

Green set off on another run soon after, but was tracked all the way back by Bantick, before Dicks sent a long pass to McKenzie, whose drive was turned behind by Garnham.

Dicks then sent a deep cross to the far post from the resulting short corner, with Toms heading across the face of goal and Cossington forcing the ball just wide of the upright. But Boro had Chafer to thank for keeping out Callander’s header moments later and recovering to grab the loose ball.

The home faithful were starting to sound a bit twitchy at Sudbury’s failure to put the game beyond doubt, as Reynolds pulled a speculative effort wide from 25 yards.

But Bantick teed up Callander inside the box and his prodded effort was fingertipped over by Chafer, which had the majority in the stands believing again.

Then, in the 59th minute, Callander found space on the right to drill in a low cross and Parker flashed the ball past Chafer from close range for his 11th goal of the season to double Sudbury’s lead and leave Boro with a mountain to climb.

Chafer threw himself to his left to push Callander’s free-kick behind moments later, with Tann heading over from a corner on 65 minutes, and Boro boss Paul Martin sent Asher Modeste on for the impressive Green with a quarter of the match remaining, as Sudbury’s Callander made way for Liam Wales.

Dicks flashed a free-kick over from the right corner of the box as the visitors looked for a glimmer of hope, but they needed Chafer to produce another excellent save to keep out Eagles at close range, before Williams fired the follow-up wide of the target.

Mallett fired a free-kick into the wall with 17 minutes to go, before Reynolds, Modeste and Toms all headed on a long throw-in and McKenzie was crowded out by yellow shirts.

But Sudbury had chances to add to their tally, with Eagle seeing a curling effort beaten away by Chafer five minutes from time, before picking out Jordan Blackwell on the right to cross for Parker to bundle the ball home.

And Eagle added more gloss as he bent a shot with his less-favoured right foot beyond the despairing Chafer with two minutes to go, before Wales wasted a gilt-edged chance to make it 5-0 as he pulled a shot wide and Parker saw a stoppage-time attempt deflected onto the crossbar.

Sudbury: Garnham, French, Wilkinson, Baker, Henshaw, Tann, Bantick (Blackwell 60), Williams (Austin 79), Callander (Wales 68), Parker, Eagle.

Unused subs: Newman, Robinson.

Romford: Chafer, Boswell, Mallett, Toms, Cossington (Taylor 75), Adebayo, Ayodeji Olukoga, Dicks, McKenzie, Reynolds (Bankole 79), Green (Modeste 68).

Unused sub: Wray.

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