Romford denied by injury time strike

Action from Romford's clash with Waltham Forest (Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

Action from Romford's clash with Waltham Forest (Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO

Ryman Div 1N: Romford 2 Waltham Forest 2

A stoppage time goal meant Romford had to settle for one point instead of all three, as they were held by Ryman Division One North rivals Waltham Forest at Ship Lane.

Goals from Aime Blessing and Nick Reynolds had given the hosts a 2-0 lead, but second-half strikes from George Lutaaya and Matt Waldron earned ten-man Forest a share of the spoils.

A minute’s silence was observed before the game for 93-year-old supporter Eddie Perkins and Romford started strongest, with the front three of Lewis Francis, Reynolds and Blessing linking well.

And two of those forwards created the opening goal in the 16th minute as Reynolds cushioned down a header for Jamie Dicks, who played the ball in for Blessing to smash into the top corner.

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Paul Martin’s team were on top throughout the first half and doubled their lead in the 42nd minute thanks to Reynolds’ 14th goal of the season.

Joe Oates whipped in a delicious left-footed cross and Reynolds composed himself before powerfully heading past Davies.

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Romford made a change at half time, as Paul Clayton was called away for work and James Ishamail took his place at centre-back.

And Forest pulled a goal back nine minutes after the restart through Lutaaya.

Romford failed to clear their lines and the midfielder superbly curled into the bottom corner from outside the area.

Moments after that and the visitors were nearly level, as Manu Dagher rounded Aaron Omand but Ishmail outmuscled him to preserve Boro’s lead.

Tempers boiled over in the 64th minute after a challenge between Abs Seymour and Waltham’s Manny Sackey, who clashed before players both teams became involved in a pushing and shoving match.

Once the referee had restored order, Seymour, Sackey, Ishmail and Waldron were all cautioned.

Blessing had a good chance to seal the points 10 minutes from time but fired straight at Davies after a poor first touch.

And Forest were reduced to 10 men in the 88th minute, when Sackey was given a second yellow card after clattering into Seymour.

But Forest were celebrating in the second minute of injury time when Lutaaya’s free kick found Waldron at the back post, and he headed home the equaliser.

Romford almost conceded a last-gasp winner as Lutaaya crossed from the right but Leachman couldn’t convert and it ended level.

The point earned sees Romford surpass last season’s total (57) and leaves them in 10th place ahead of a clash with Waltham Abbey on Thursday.

Romford: Omand, Ottley, Oates, Woodward, Dicks, Clayton (Ishmail 46), Sammut, Seymour, Reynolds, Francis, Blessing (Jones 81).

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