Romford new boy is matchwinner

Ilford 2 Romford 3

Romford debutant Isa Hussein proved the matchwinner at Cricklefield Stadium last night.

Manager Paul Martin gave the former Aveley and Brentwood striker his first start in the Ryman Division One North derby and Hussein repaid that faith with Boro’s decisive 53rd-minute goal.

The visitors have failed to score in six of their previous seven outings, with their 2-1 win over Chatham their only success in that spell.

And, despite having a strong wind at their backs in the first half, Boro fell behind after only four minutes when a quick move on the right led to a low cross which Jonathan Glowacki sent past the left hand of a diving Elliott Anderson, who was preferred in goal to Lamar Johnson.

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The visitors got back on terms on the half hour mark when Kurt Smith, having recovered from a broken fibula, forced the ball from a corner for his 10th goal of the season.

And Boro edged ahead before the break when Jack Barry hit a first-time shot past Rob Budd from another corner to claim his ninth goal of the campaign.

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Stand-in captain Paul Kavanagh was replaced by Joe Bingham during the interval due to injury and Boro came under early pressure as the Foxes forced Anderson to make several good saves.

But eight minutes after the restart, Romford went 3-1 up when Hussain cut in from the left and fired across Budd for a debut strike.

Ilford hit back midway through the second half with a hotly disputed goal as Boro’s claims for handball in the build-up were ignored and Rob Carter rolled the ball into Anderson’s net.

But Boro went closest to adding to the scoreline in the time remaining, as Chris Sullivan fired a shot off the crossbar in the 76th minute.

Victory lifted Martin’s men above Chatham into 14th place and left them needing 17 points from their last 13 matches to reach the manager’s target for the season.

But their next assignment is a difficult trip to table-topping Leiston on Saturday.

Romford: Anderson, Ottley, Kavanagh (Bingham 46), J.Barry, Toms, C.Barry, Mackin, Sullivan; Smith (Odedoyin 66), Hussein (Seymour 75), Oates.

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