Romford can draw positives

Romford striker Nick Reynolds had to play in goal against Brightlingsea Regent (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Romford striker Nick Reynolds had to play in goal against Brightlingsea Regent (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Ryman North: Romford 2 Brightlingsea Regent 2

Romford twice came from behind to earn a share of the spoils against in-form Regent at Ship Lane.

Having seen their home match with Maldon fall victim to a waterlogged pitch a week earlier, Boro were glad to see it pass an inspection this time around as they looked to build on their 1-0 midweek success at Thamesmead.

But manager Paul Martin was forced to field striker Nick Reynolds as an emergency keeper, with Aaron Omand unavailable after his partner went into labour on the morning of the match.

Loui Hazlewood, 21, was given his Romford debut after signing from landlords Thurrock, but the visitors, having won both previous meetings between the clubs this season in the league and Essex Senior Cup, took the lead after only 11 minutes when Oliver Canfer’s header at a corner came back off the crossbar and Jake Holman smashed the rebound into the roof of the net to beat the stand-in Reynolds.

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Romford were back on terms soon after, though, when club record appearance holder Paul Clayton claimed his fifth goal of the season, on his 395th outing in a Boro shirt.

And it remained all square at the break, after Abs Seymour and Nathan Cooper had their names taken by the referee.

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Regent regained the lead 10 minutes into the second half through Jordan Heath, who poked home from close range after a goalmouth scramble at a corner.

But it was a case of history repeating itself as Eddie Hart – the matchwinner at Thamesmead – hit back with his sixth of the campaign to get Boro back on terms, running onto a long ball over the top and slotting past Andrew Plummer.

Martin made a trio of changes in the final quarter in a bid to find a winner, with Jamie Dicks, Jack Barry and Sam Kemp all coming off the bench.

But there was no further change to the scoreline as honours finished even and Boro moved eight points clear of the relegation zone, following Barkingside’s home defeat against Wroxham.

Romford: Reynolds, Norris, Hayes, Cooper (Barry 81), Clayton, Cocklin (Dicks 72), Hazlewood (Kemp 84), Seymour, Hart, Jones, Ibe. Unused sub: Ishmail.

Brightlingsea: Plummer, Griggs, Josh Gould, Berkane (Bartlett 60), Holman, Cripps, Jake Gould, Turner, Heath, Canfer, Newson. Unused subs: Joyce, Joseph, Amass, Durling.

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