Cold comfort for Romford’s Ishmail

Postponements give defender extra time to recover

Romford’s James Ishmail has not been too disappointed to see recent fixtures postponed.

Defender Ishmail is recovering from a knee injury, suffered against Tilbury on December 17, and hopes to return soon.

But after seeing last weekend’s home match against Maldon fall victim to a frozen pitch, he was holding out little hope for the trip to Brentwood tomorrow (Saturday).

“I was hoping to train this week, but I don’t know if there will be much on this weekend,” he said.

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“I’ve been out for seven weeks, which is one of the longest times I’ve not played. It’s tough.

“But I’m not too unhappy to hear games are off. I’m glad this cold weather has come as I’m not missing as many as I would’ve done.”

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Ishmail was injured while blocking a shot against Tilbury, a week before Christmas.

And he admits he has missed not being in the thick of the action since.

He added: “I got caught on the knee and at the time I thought I’d broken something.

“I hobbled around for a bit, hoping it would get better, but it didn’t improve.

“I went to training a few days after but I couldn’t finish the warm-up.”

Ishmail, who turns 21 later this month, was subsequently diagnosed with fluid on the knee, which caused inflammation to the joint and made it sore when he tried to bend his leg or run.

And he has been a frustrated onlooker as Boro have taken just four points from a possible 18 in Ryman One North.

But things have improved in recent weeks and Ishmail is hoping to get the green light to return soon.

He added: “I’ve been missing football a lot. I’ve been a bit bored.

“I haven’t really had a bad injury before. I dislocated a toe once and cracked my head open playing rugby.

“We’ve had a bad run but a lot of players have been out injured and pitches have been heavy.

“Enfield looked a really good side, fit and strong, and worked well as a team, but the Ware games sounds like the referee wasn’t too consistent.

“I’m not 100 per cent but I’m looking forward to getting back into it.

“I’ll speak to Magic (Paul Martin) and Sheps (physio Pete Shepherd) and see how it feels. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks, when we see a bit of grass again...”

With striker Kurt Smith only just coming back from a broken leg, Boro boss Paul Martin could have a full squad to choose from when the action gets underway again.

And Ishmail believes Romford can still have plenty to say for themselves in the spring.

“Hopefully we’ll have a strong end to the season. I still feel we can make the play-offs,” he said.

“It will be tough, but if we can pick up our form and some points, like we did at the start of the last season.

“We need to consistently keep clean sheets.”

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