Romford restore some confidence

Romford players celebrate one of their goals against Ware (George Phillipou/TGS)

Romford players celebrate one of their goals against Ware (George Phillipou/TGS) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO

Romford 4 Ware 1

Romford recorded a much-needed win over lowly Ware at Ship Lane.

Boro had lost six of their previous seven Ryman Division One North matches, including injury-time defeats against Grays and Brentwood.

But Paul Martin’s men restored some confidence with a four-goal display, as Nick Reynolds netted a brace to move into double figures for the campaign.

An early Lewis Francis free-kick looped up in the air off the defensive wall, before hitting a Ware defender’s hand right on the edge of the box.

And a second Francis free-kick looped up off the head of Jack Coombs and over the crossbar, yet somehow a goal kick was awarded to the visitors.

Francis needed treatment soon after and Lewis Payne had his head bandaged during a fragmented start, before captain Jack Barry fired the first chance of note wide from fully 25 yards.

Most Read

Barry got another sight of goal on 12 minutes when Paul Clayton’s superb ball in from the right found him at the far post, but Rhys Madden pushed the shot behind.

Boro took the lead from the resulting Francis corner, though, after it was nodded down at the far post by Matt Toms and Nick Reynolds spun to fire into the roof of the net for his ninth goal of the season.

Ware rallied and a deep cross by Matt Standen was headed back by Nathan Hilaire, but deflected behind for a corner.

And when Ngoy spilled the delivery, he had Clayton to thank for inadvertently diverting Standen’s shot just past the post.

Romford were not instilling much confidence in their supporters at the back, but they overcame a brief wobble to double their lead on 23 minutes when George Woodward’s ball up to the edge of the box was nodded on by Reynolds for Toms to send a superb half-volley inside the far post.

The second goal settled Boro and Barry forced a diving save from Madden with a well-struck left-footed drive on 35 minutes.

Barry, booked when a Ware free-kick was played against him at close range, dovetailed nicely with Clayton in a sticky midfield, while Payne looked to have put his mistake against Brentwood to the back of his mind in a steady display at the back.

Woodward was hurt making a tackle on Josh Bronti, but limped back on after more work from physio Vicki Byron.

And Reynolds was booked on the stroke of half-time for a good, old-fashioned hard tackle on Ware skipper Jon Stevenson.

Reynolds was presented with the simplest of tap-ins in the third minute of stoppage time, though, after Clayton released Ben Jones on the left and he unselfishly rolled the ball square for him to finish from close range.

Woodward was replaced during the interval by Jamie Dicks, whose deep free-kick on 50 minutes found Kurt Smith at the far post to turn the ball inside for Reynolds, who volleyed just over the crossbar with an outstretched right boot.

Ware’s Standen sent a header from Charlie Moxom’s cross well over the crossbar just past the hour mark and dragged a volley wide of the left-hand upright moments later, before Tim Sure’s attempted chip flew over the target.

But the visitors never seriously threatened Ngoy, as the Boro defence generally held firm.

Then, with 20 minutes left, a corner was only half cleared and Bronti’s ball back into the box was headed home by Moxom from six yards to give Ware a glimmer of hope and set Boro nerves jangling.

Moxom helped a high ball on for Standen to force a diving save from Ngoy from 25 yards as the tension began to rise in the stands.

But Boro restored their three-goal cushion on 74 minutes when a Francis corner was half-cleared and sent back into the box for Barry to bring it down and fire home as the Ware defence looked in vain for an offside flag.

Ngoy held on to Spencer Knight’s drive from the left, before substitute Billy Hunt received a yellow card moments after coming off the bench for nothing more than a mistimed tackle on Jimmy Martin on halfway.

And Boro were fuming when a challenge on Dicks went unpunished before a superb one-handed save from Ngoy kept out Kamara Alhassam’s header as play continued.

Reynolds had penalty claims waved away after he went down in the box when looking to get on the end of Barry’s quickly-taken free-kick, and Francis sent a dipping 30-yard effort goalwards for Madden to smother.

Ishamil let out a scream when caught by a studs-up challenge from Alhassam, who became the seventh player to have his name taken by referee Adam Bakalarz, who won few friends on either side.

But Boro could reflect on a job well done as they notched their a win since their success over Aveley in early December.

Romford: Ngoy, Ishmail, Woodward (Dicks 46), Payne, Toms, Clayton, Barry, Francis, Smith, Reynolds, Jones (Hunt 75).

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter