Imbert breaks Redbridge hearts as Romford leave it late
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Ryman One North: Romford 2 Redbridge 1
Ryan Imbert scored in the 10th minute of stoppage time at Ship Lane to give Romford a much-needed home Ryman One North victory against Redbridge.
Boro trailed at half time but scored twice in the second period in between the Motormen seeing two players receive red cards, whilst a huge brawl between both sides also occurred in a dramatic second half.
With both teams languishing down the lower stretches of the table, a nervy start was expected however both teams created chances from the off.
Romford should have gone ahead after eight minutes when excellent play between Tom Richardson and Jack Barry created space for the former but Nick Reynolds failed to convert his centre.
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Three minutes later and that wasted opportunity seemed costly as the Motormen took the lead following a wonderful run by Brian Moses.
The young forward carried the ball into the Boro half, dribbled past an opponent before splitting the home defence with a perfect pass to Shane Wallace.
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And Wallace waited for Romford’s Aaron Omand to go to ground before rolling in the opener.
That goal lifted the visitors and Mark Nougher might have extended their lead had Barry not made an excellent block inside his own box.
Nougher again came close shortly afterwards when Matt Toms and Boro record appearance holder Paul Clayton failed to communicate and the ball fell perfectly for the Redbridge number eight but Omand tipped his effort around the post.
Motormen continued to press for a second and more poor defending allowed Moses an opportunity, but six-yards out, he fired over the bar – that would prove costly.
Romford then should have levelled the scores two minutes before the break when Nick Reynolds met Abs Seymour’s cross and forced Redbridge ‘keeper Mark Parker to parry his header out.
However, with the goal at his mercy, Richardson fired wide from a few yards out to ensure it was 1-0 at the break.
The second half took a while to get going but Romford did eventually create the first chance and the second followed shortly afterwards.
First Seymour released Imbert down the left and he forced Parker to tip over the bar before Reynolds should have equalised for Boro.
Seymour‘s corner was flicked on by Barry but from close range Reynolds inexplicably headed over.
That chance was a sign of things to come for Redbridge though as with 68 minutes played, Seymour whipped in another corner and this time Barry powered home the equaliser at the near post.
Motormen were forced to make a change when Aaron Scott suffered an injury after a hefty challenge from Reynolds.
Scott’s replacement Sam Gent almost immediately produced a goal when he cut the ball back for Daniel Chambers but his effort flew over the bar.
The end of the game then descended into a farce when Patrick Damali pushed the ball into George Cocklin’s face and received a straight red.
That sparked a 22-man melee before officials and unused substitutes from both benches sprawled onto the pitch as tempers were lost.
The referee decided to hand out four yellow cards after the incident to Boro’s Imbert and Cocklin and Redbridge’s Wallace and Bostry Bansende.
The yellow card to Wallace would prove costly as deep into injury time he picked up a second yellow after catching Boro substitute Paul Preston.
And then 10 minutes into injury time the dramatic second half produced a winner, thanks to some quick thinking from Preston.
The Romford full-back took a quick throw to release Richardson down the right and his cross into the box was tapped in by Imbert to give the hosts a priceless fourth league win of the season and easily their most dramatic.
Romford: Omand, Ottley (Preston 24), Dicks, Toms, Cocklin, Clayton, Barry, Seymour, Imbert, Richardson, Reynolds (De Matos 79).
Redbridge: Parker, Murphy, Parish (Spillman 84), T Thomas, L Thomas, Scott (Gent 76), Chambers (Bansende 84), Nougher, Moses, Damali, Wallace.