Romford relishing Ryman challenge

Bath up next for injury-hit Hornchurch

Romford will head to Ryman One North rivals Harlow in high spirits today (Saturday).

Boro romped to a 6-3 win at Sudbury last weekend, before bowing out of the Ryman League Cup against Concord in midweek.

Manager Paul Martin shuffled his pack and had few complaints, saying: “We made five or six changes but there’s no excuses, they’re a very good side.

“We missed an early one-on-one and a penalty. Would it have changed things? Probably not, but it was nice to give a few players a run out and have a look at them against good opponents and see if their fitness is there.

“It was sort of a nothing game, but it was better than just training and we could’ve ended up with Lowestoft away in the next round.

“Concord went strong, when you see the three subs he brought on, but I told our lads not to let the defeat dishearten them, Saturday is more important.”

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Harlow fell to a heavy defeat at Rush Green last weekend, as Grays took over at the top of the table.

And Martin wants his men to maintain the momentum they gathered in Suffolk to stay among the play-off contenders after Christmas.

He added: “We wanted 20 points before Christmas and we’ve got 16 with another 10 games to go so we’re well on course.

“The boys confidence is there but we will lose games now and then. We’ve got to enjoy it when we win.

“We drew a lot of games last year and we’ve got to turn those into wins, then you can go up four or five places at the end of the season.

“If you’re in the top nine at the start of February you’ve got a chance of the play-offs and if we can make them, these players will be Romford legends for a long time.

“We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground and get on with our business, trying to upset teams. We’ve got no fear and nothing to lose.”

Boro go up against former fan favourite Steve Portway and his struggling Redbridge side in the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday, but Martin’s priorities remain clear.

He said: “The Essex Senior Cup is a good cup as you can get a big team like Colchester.

“Redbridge will have to go strong to get a win for their confidence, but we’ll tinker with it and push some of the under-18 boys in.

“We’re healthy squad-wise and our subs are as good as gold.”

Hornchurch, meanwhile, are currently struggling with a few knocks and boss Jimmy McFarlane could include new signing Mick McCoy in his starting line-up at Conference South rivals Bath.

The former Sutton midfielder joined this week, after Urchins slipped to a 1-0 home defeat against Eastbourne, and McFarlane said: “I saw him earlier in the year and he’s an energetic, box-to-box midfielder who can play the holding role and drop back to centre-half if needed.

“He knows Reiss (Noel) and could well start as we’re struggling with quite a few injuries at the moment.

“Where Bath are in the league at the moment (13th) is irrelevant.”

Urchins host Chelmsford at Bridge Avenue on Tuesday, before making the long trip to Truro next weekend and McFarlane admits it could be a testing week.

He added: “You can’t handpick any easy games, they’re all hard.

“We’ve done alright on the road so I’m not too concerned. I’ve not seen anything this season to worry about, but we’re looking to improve all the time, until we get it right.”

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