Romford stand-in skipper ‘honoured’

Barry: I like having the armband

Romford’s Jack Barry has spoken of his pride at leading the side in the absence of suspended captain Paul Clayton.

Barry, 20, took the armband for the Ryman Division One North clash at Leiston on Saturday, when Boro battled back from three goals down to give the leaders a fright in a 3-2 defeat.

And although he will hand leadership back to Clayton for the clash with Waltham Forest this weekend, Barry admits he revels in the extra responsbility.

He said: “I’ve had the armband a few times now and I feel quite honoured.

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“I’m only young. I’m only 20, but the manager has got that faith in me to lead the team out and I really do like doing it.

“I try to do my best and give the rest of the boys confidence, but Clayts will be back on Saturday and it will be good to get him back.”

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Boro were made to pay for a slow start in Suffolk as Michael Brothers fired a 22-minute hat-trick to put Leiston in control.

Kurt Smith netted twice in quick succession after the restart, though, and Boro went close to a late equaliser.

Barry added: “We started off slow and were gutted to go 3-0 down. But we couldn’t dwell on it.

“We deserved it. It was down to our mistakes and we got a bit of a grilling at half-time.

“But we came out and everything changed in the second half. We put them on the back foot and they didn’t like it.”

Smith took his tally for the season to 12 goals, despite missing two months with a broken fibula.

And Barry admitted it was good to have him back leading the line.

“Kurt showed composure and placed his shot for once, then placed another one. He usually blasts it but he’s a changed man!” he said.

“He’s experienced and we know what he can do. We’ve got a bit of a competition going, I’ve got nine goals, but I’m glad he’s back.”

Defeat has left Boro’s play-off hopes all but extinguished, but Barry is hoping they can get on a run during the closing weeks of the season.

“Their crowd said we deserved a draw. They went one up front for the last 20 minutes and we could tell they were worried and on edge,” he said.

“Andy Edmunds had a last-minute shot, which I was right behind, and the keeper got a touch. It was a game of two halves, but we deserved a draw.

“It’s typical Romford. When we’ve got a big opportunity to step up against the big teams we always put it on.

“We’ve got to do it against the lower teams now. We’ve got to play the whole 90 minutes in this league, but we’ll keep battling on.”

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