Romford boss Martin says they gave Grays an early Christmas present

Romford manager Paul Martin during Romford vs Brentwood Town, Velocity Trophy Football at the Brentwood Centre on 8th...

Romford manager Paul Martin during Romford vs Brentwood Town, Velocity Trophy Football at the Brentwood Centre on 8th October 2019 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Romford manager Paul Martin insists they gave Grays Athletic an early Christmas present as they suffered a 6-1 defeat.

Braces from Joao Carlos and George Purcell as well as a goal from Steven King and an own goal from Boro goalkeeper Jack Riddle sealed the three points for Jim Cooper's men at the Brentwood Arena.

And boss Martin wasn't afraid to criticise his players especially goalkeeper Jack Riddle.

"I wouldn't say clinical, I would say we gave them an early Christmas present," Martin said.

"Our goalkeeper young Jack kept us in the game Saturday but unfortunately I always tell people the truth I'm not sure what he was doing for the first goal, he should have just caught in, but tried to punch it.

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"Up to that 36th minute we looked quite stable and could have gone 1-0 up in the first five minutes with Temi Babalola, but he pushed it a little bit too heavy, and obviously we make a mistake and our heads drop.

"We lost Cosso (Dan Cossington) at half-time, no Phil (Brown-Bampoe), no George Woodward but we've beat ourselves today (Wednesday) massively."

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Former Romford man Steven King netted his goal by getting away from his marker Michael Agboola but the boss is hoping his young squad learn from their mistakes.

"They all had a job to do, old school Kingy against us has scored, where big Michael was supposed to be marking him for set-pieces.

"There is a lot of things to be pointed at, sometimes as a manager you can put your hands up and say you got your tactics wrong, but not being rude here but I don't think anyone can criticise me tonight.

"I think they've got to criticise the players on the strength of losing their heads and making too many individual mistakes.

"George Purcell has come back and haunted me as he scored the winner against us first game of the season but there should be no excuses."

The boss was gutted about the result as he felt they just started turning the corner with wins in the Velocity Trophy and only a narrow 2-1 loss to Whitehawk to knock them out of the FA Trophy on Saturday.

"We thought we'd just turned the corner, results have been ok, we were unlucky to lost 2-1 with a dubious penalty on Saturday which would have brought us to a replay here.

"We didn't look like scoring in the second-half on Saturday but we can into today (Wednesday) a lot more confident but as I say Jack was nearly our hero Saturday and a bit of a villain today.

"It's a learning curve he's only young as I say he's never played at this level before but realistically they only scored one goal in open play the rest were our own fault."

He did however praise young Riddle for his display against Whitehawk and question the referee's decision on the penalty they conceded.

"He kept us in the game, then we caught them on the counter attack, we got the goal bang on time which is a good time to score.

"You say you want to stabilise yourselves in the first 15 minutes but we gave a penalty away which was very harsh as our player got tripped first and had his shirt pulled.

"After that there was problem only going to be one winner as we burnt ourselves out.

"They were a very good footballing side, they've got Dave Martin, who played 200 games for Millwall against players that played Sunday football last year."

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