Relief for Romford boss Martin
Boro get back to winning ways at last
Romford boss Paul Martin was a relieved man after seeing his side beat basement boys Ilford on Wednesday.
Boro had taken only four Ryman Division One points from a possible 21 heading into the clash, failing to score in six of those seven matches.
But Kurt Smith scored his first goal since returning from a broken leg and newcomer Hussain Isa netted the eventual winner in a 3-2 success to give Boro a lift ahead of their trip to table-topping Leiston tomorrow (Saturday).
Martin said: “It’s nice to get three points on the board. It’s been a while.
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“I know Ilford are bottom, but they’ve been on a good run lately and it’s not an easy place to go and get points.
“The pitch isn’t too good and the wind was very strong. It was anyone’s game and it could’ve been 4-4. Both teams hit the woodwork.”
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Martin rung the changes after a 4-0 home defeat against Potters Bar, but Boro found themselves behind after only four minutes.
Smith and Jack Barry turned the match on its head before the break, before Paul Kavanagh was forced off with a shoulder injury.
Isa struck soon after the restart, but Ilford set up a tense finale with their second.
Martin added: “We’re playing some good football and it was nice seeing three goals go in.
“Kurt has come back and scored and Joe Bingham is technically very good and linked up well with Isa, whose movement was very good.
“Elliott (Anderson) pulled off some good saves as well, but we’ll rotate it now and go with Lamar (Johnson) again on Saturday and try to keep everyone happy so we can get them back at the club next season.”
Boro were edged out 2-1 when Leiston visited Mill Field earlier in the season and Martin believes his side can cause an upset in Suffolk.
He added: “We left Abs Seymour on the bench so he can be fresh, as Chris Barry is not available.
“The squad is quite healthy, apart from Kav, and we will go there and be positive.
“We only need one more point to reach my first target and we pick our game up against the big teams.
“We upset Grays when they were on form and Enfield Town are the only side to play us off the park this season.
“We’ll either get tonked or get a result. Hopefully it’s tight with about five minutes to go and we might nick it.”
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane would also settle for a scrappy win at Ryman Premier Division rivals Kingstonian tomorrow.
Urchins returned from the three-week winter break to beat Lewes last weekend and remain five points behind leaders Billericay with two games in hand.
McFarlane watched Kingstonian play Margate on Monday and has a good idea of what to expect at Kingsmeadow, saying: “They look like they’ve turned a corner. They’re a decent side and played 4-5-1. I’ve seen them three times in the last month and they’ve played the same every time.
“Going away doesn’t phase us, if we do the things we’re good at. But all the games will be tough now and if I was offered a crap 1-0 win, I’d take it.”
Lewis Smith misses out due to suspension, but Reiss Noel and Frankie Curley return to give McFarlane a virtually full-strength squad as they look to close the gap on Billericay, who host in-form Cray at New Lodge.
He added: “If we can just stay clear of bad injuries and improve on our discipline and the silly suspensions, it should be an exciting finish to the season.
“We’ll get niggles, everyone does at this stage, but we’re aiming to win every single game. If we do that, we know we’ll be there or thereabouts.”