Romford rocked

Controversial cup defeat

Romford were knocked out of the Essex Senior Cup by Stansted in controversial circumstances.

Boro took an early lead thanks to central midfielder Richard Oxby, who headed home from Joe Pearman’s cross.

But it was at the other end that Pearman made his biggest contribution to the game.

Dwight Gayle raced after a through-ball chased by Pearman, who ran across the back of the striker and tugged at his shirt.

Gayle still managed to get his shot away but Boro keeper Adam Rafis got a hand on the ball, allowing Pearman to get back and clear.

But the referee deemed Pearman had infringed upon Gayle, awarded a penalty and showed the red card.

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Gayle stepped up to convert the spot-kick and level but the dismissal did little to affect the nature of the game, with both sides having opportunities to take the lead.

Lee Garrity headed over for the visitors and Oxby again showed his class by hitting the post from fully 30 yards.

The visitors made their an advantage pay when good interplay between Gayle and Vinny Durrant saw the latter smash his shot past Rafis five minutes before the break.

Boro came out the stronger after the restart and levelled within eight minutes.

The impressive Oxby picked the ball up on the edge of the centre circle and drove towards the visiting goal before unleashing a low shot from 25 yards which found the bottom corner.

But Stansted fought back and regained the lead with an hour gone as Gayle received the ball on the edge of the area, ghosted past oncoming defenders and lashed a shot past Rafis’ at his near post.

The atmosphere changed dramatically in the last half-hour as the hosts tried to get back on terms, but were constantly frustrated by inconsistent refereeing and dogged Stansted defending.

Abs Seymour’s header hit the top of the bar before the visitors made the game safe on 83 minutes thanks to captain Andy Oxby.

A quickly-taken free-kick found Oxby unmarked in the box and he placed a curling shot past Rafis.

Romford; A Rafis, J Barry, Pearman, Neville (Edmunds 54), Diantobe, Mackin (Seymour 62), R Oxby, Mbala, Reynolds, Read, Bansende.