Romford held in Heybridge
PUBLISHED: 08:46 16 March 2016 | UPDATED: 08:55 16 March 2016
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Ryman North: Heybridge Swifts 1 Romford 1
Romford had to settle for a point after a tense clash with fellow strugglers Heybridge at Scraley Road last night.
Stalwart Nick Reynolds gave Boro the perfect start, netting in the first minute.
But Ade Cole saw red in the second half and, despite also being reduced to 10 men, Swifts struck five minutes from time to earn a share of the spoils.
Although without a win in four matches, Boro are six points above the drop zone with a game in hand on the bottom three clubs ahead of their trip to Soham Town Rangers on Saturday.
Paul Martin made two changes to his starting line-up from Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat against Maldon, bringing Matt Frew and Akwasi Marfo in for Chris Barry and Michael Dixon.
And Boro were off to an electric start as Reynolds netted his eighth goal of the season – and 59th for the club – with just 34 seconds on the clock.
Reynolds had a chance to double the visitors lead, shooting wide, and Jamie Dicks sent a tricky chance over the crossbar.
But Boro had a great chance of a second late in the first half when they were awarded a penalty, but Ryan Boswell saw his spot-kick saved by Danny Sambridge.
Dicks was then booked for a foul on a Heybridge player, picking up his eigith yellow card of the season, and George Doyle also had his name taken for the hosts before the break.
Michael Gooch was called upon on a couple of occasions to deny Swifts and was also saved by a goalline clearance, but Boro’s Cole saw a header from Marfo’s cross brilliantly saved by Sambridge after the restart.
Boro were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes remaining when Cole was given his marching orders, after an earlier foul on Reynolds went unpunished.
But Doyle was sent for an early shower soon after having collected his second booking of the night and then Swifts struck five minutes from time as Jack Smith bundled the ball past Gooch to earn a share of the spoils, although Frew went close to a late winner in a goalmouth scramble.
Boro’s night ended on a sour note when Martin was shown the third red card of the night and sent from the dugout.
Romford: Gooch, Boswell, Woodward, Frew, Potter, Cossington (Coe 89), Dicks, Ishmail, Reynolds (Barry 82), Marfo (Dixon 69), Cole. Unused subs: McFarlane, Wray.