Not the easiest start for Romford

Martin: First month quite interesting

Romford manager Paul Martin believes his side face a tricky start to the Ryman Division One North season.

Boro were handed an opening-day trip to Harlow on August 20 when the fixtures were released this week, then host Redbridge and newcomers Soham Town in the week that follows.

And Martin is expecting some tough battles.

He said: “It’s not the easiest start. Harlow scored the most goals against us last season, beating us 4-1 and 4-2, and they will be stronger every year.

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“Redbridge have got a new manager and a mostly new squad, while Soham will have a point to prove in the Ryman League.

“The first month will be quite interesting, but I’m not going into any games saying they’re going to be easy or hard. I won’t give any team respect this year.

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“We didn’t have a very good run at home last season and were performing better away but hopefully we’ll hold our own and upset a few teams along the way.”

Boro enjoyed a good start to the 2010/11 campaign, raising hopes of a promotion play-off place, but fell away in the closing weeks to a mid-table finish, albeit with an improved points total from the season before.

Martin has got Kurt Smith back on board and snapped up a trio of youngsters in goalkeeper Lamar Joseph-Johson, 19, former Dagenham youth-team striker Ricky Reid, 20, and the 23-year-old Tom Cumberworth, who was on the books of Derby County as a youngster.

He added: “We’ll have a new, young and exciting squad, but we’re going to have to be patient.

“The quality and promise is there with these youngsters, but we need to build for the next couple of seasons.

“We’ve got to go young because we’ve got no money. We need new Paul Claytons and Neil Finns and hope the youngsters can peak.”

Hornchurch begin their Ryman Premier campaign a day later than most as they visit Cray on Sunday August 21.

Urchins welcome Canvey to Bridge Avenue two days later and will hope for a bumper crowd on January 2 when Lowestoft visit, after being handed away trips to Billericay and Canvey on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.

Season tickets and tickets for their August 6 friendly against a West Ham XI are on sale at the club.

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