Romford produce cup ‘upset’
Kurt k.o’s Conference club
Kurt Smith’s 84th-minute goal earned Romford a 3-2 Essex Senior Cup win over Conference side Braintree last night.
Smith produced a fine volley past Ashlee Jones to settle an enjoyable tie at Mill Field and give manager Paul Martin a much-needed lift.
He said: “We did well and nicked a goal at the end. It’s good for the fans and hopefully we can get Colchester, Dagenham & Redbridge or Southend, if they get through, in the next round.”
Boro went into the clash on the back of their fourth defeat in five games, while Braintree were smarting from their last-gasp FA Cup exit at Newport.
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The visitors fielded a mixture of first and reserve-team players and fell behind on 19 minutes when Jack Barry, Romford’s captain for the night, fired home from Jahmel Heywoord’s corner.
Boro doubled their advantage six minutes later when Smith took advantage of a mix-up between Jones and one of his defenders to walk the ball into the net.
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Braintree hit back five minutes into the second half, though, when an unmarked Matthew Johnson’s low shot from the right side of the box found the far corner of Boro’s net.
And they were back on terms in the 65th minute when Matthew Pooley’s long-range effort crept inside the post.
Elliott Anderson produced a superb save to tip a goalbound shot over the crossbar with 14 minutes left.
And Boro made the most of their escape as Smith chased a ball over the top and fired his eighth goal of the campaign.
Youngsters Jamie Dicks and Joe Oates combined well on the left for Boro, while Alex Coney also caught the eye alongside Smith, and the hosts held on for three minutes of injury time to seal their progress.