Late Grays penalty holds Romford to a draw
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Bostik North: Grays Athletic 1 Romford 1
Romford remain level on points with Witham Town in the battle for survival after conceding in added time to be held for a 1-1 draw with Grays Athletic.
A first-half goal from defender Danny Cossington was cancelled out by a late penalty from Joao Carlos at Parkside Stadium.
Boro manager Paul Martin made one change from the side that sealed a 5-2 victory over Soham Town Rangers on Saturday.
Nathaniel Joseph missed out through injury and Pedro Carvalho came into replace the full-back.
It was a fairly even contest for the opening ten minutes with neither side creating too much.
The hosts Aron Gordon did however race down the right flank, the winger then looked to pick out Dennis Oli, but Boro defender Danny Cossington cleared the danger.
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Romford opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with their first real chance of the match as Cossington poked home a John Maskell free-kick at the near post.
Two minutes later Oli played Davidson through, but Cossington stuck his leg in and pulled off a great last ditch tackle.
Goalkeeper Harry Aldridge was then forced to make a save as he got his right leg to a Gordon point blank range effort.
Romford’s Ayo Olukoga raced down the left flank shortly after, looking to cross the ball into the box but former Hornchurch man Jamie Hursit was there to block his attempt.
Two minutes before the break Grays won a free-kick on the edge of the box after Maskell brought down Joao Carlos.
Davidson curled the free-kick round the wall, but it hit the outside of the post.
Early in the second-half Grays midfielder Alberto Pinto volleyed an effort over the crossbar from inside the box following a Davidson free-kick.
Romford striker Jimmy Cox tried to lob the goalkeeper but hit the crossbar in the 53rd minute.
Goalkeeper then had to pull off a number of saves as he denies winger Gordon in the 61st minute as he cut in and drilled a shot on target.
Four minutes later he was called upon once again, this time to deny Joao Carlos’ free-kick from the edge of the box after a late tackle from Pedro Carvalho.
Grays went ever so close in the 71st minute as Davidson slid in but failed to get on the end of the ball at the back post.
The hosts kept pushing forward, Olukoga raced back to clear the danger this time round as he fired an attempted cross from substitute Mitchell Hahn out for a corner in the 81st minute.
A minute later Romford could have made it 2-0 as Joseph Chidyausiku was picked out all alone in the box but the attacker drilled his effort off the left post.
It was heartbreak for Boro as Grays were awarded a penalty in the 94th minute when Davidson was tripped up inside the box.
Joao Carlos stepped up and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner to make it 1-1.
Grays Athletic: Pearce, Hursit (Mahal 62), Joynes, Pinto, Toner, Muguo, Gordon, Davidson, Oli (Hutchinson 62), Livings (Hahn 74), Carlos.
Unused subs: Bogard, Wokoma.
Romford: Aldridge, Cossington, Barlow (O’Halem 46), Maskell, Olukoga, Nesbitt, Brown-Bampoe, Carvalho (Taylor 67), Cox, Chidyausiku, Akpele.
Unused subs: Jeakins, Bolton.