10-man Romford pick up point against landlords Thurrock
PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 February 2015
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Ryman North: Romford 2 Thurrock 2
Romford played the whole of the second half with 10 men, but still managed to pick up a crucial point in the Ryman North against landlords Thurrock.
In a ‘home’ match for Paul Martin’s team they came from behind to end the first half 2-1 ahead following goals from Nick Reynolds and Paul Clayton.
However Jamie Dicks was shown a second yellow in the 37th minute to give them a tough task and although Fleet equalised with 23 minutes remaining Boro held on for an excellent point.
The game was only nine minutes old when the visitors took the lead through former Barkingside winger Steve Carvell.
Clayton couldn’t get enough on his clearance and Carvell, in space, volleyed first time past Aaron Omand to give Thurrock the lead.
Dicks picked up a needless booking with quarter of an hour played when he charged into away keeper Andy Walker – it would later cost him too.
The former Fleet midfielder was having a great game in midfield, though, winning challenges and showing excellent commitment.
He soon linked up with Loui Hazelwood and released the winger, but his shot went harmlessly across the Thurrock goal.
But Romford were slowly working their way back into the contest and dominating by the midway point in the first half.
And with 28 minutes gone they got their reward following a fantastic Chris Barry set piece.
He whipped in a corner kick which caused Fleet all sorts of problems and allowed Reynolds to bundle the ball home at the back post from close range.
Martin’s team deserved their leveller, but nearly fell behind again shortly afterwards but Joe Christou’s free kick clipped the top of the bar.
Seven minutes before the break and Romford’s cause was dealt a blow when Dicks was shown a second yellow card.
The midfielder was battling to win the ball in midfield and shoved away Thurrock Aaron Waters.
It was sufficient enough for a free kick, but never a second yellow card and especially considering Dicks had only made one mistimed tackle beforehand.
But despite Boro captain Jack Barry remonstrating with the referee, the home team were down to 10 and faced playing 52 more minutes with a numerical disadvantage.
Two minutes after that red card and Romford gave themselves something to hold on when Clayton fired past Walker and into the net.
Jack Barry’s free kick from just inside his own half caused problems for the visitors and the ball dropped perfectly for Boro’s record appearance holder and he slotted in.
Romford easily maintained their advantage until the half time whistle, but Thurrock came out determined after the break.
Fleet were camped inside the home half and two excellent blocks from Jack Barry only prevented them equalising.
But the longer Martin’s team held out for the more frustrated the visitors began to get with the referee.
Boro were calling for a penalty in the 66th minute when Reynolds went to ground following contact from Remi Sutton, but nothing was awarded.
A minute later and Thurrock punished them when half time substitute Lewwis Spence acrobatically volleyed past Omand from close range.
Simon King headed down a free kick after Robbie Norris tried to clear and Spence steered the ball into the corner.
Martin responded by introducing George Cocklin for Reynolds to add more energy in midfield with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Thurrock continued to put the pressure on and Sutton’s centre was nearly converted by Leslie Thompson, but he couldn’t get a strong enough connection and Omand gathered.
Christou volleyed over shortly afterwards before Romford were able to get into the visitors half, but failed to make the most of two corners.
Fleet continued to come forward and Thompson tested Omand from outside the area as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added on and Omand made an excellent diving save from Spence to keep Boro level.
Lewis Clark also had a looping effort hit the top of the bar in the last minute of stoppage time for Thurrock, but Romford were able to hold out to earn an excellent result.
A sour note was the scenes at the end of full time as players from both teams came together in what looked like occurring into a mass brawl.
After the situation had cooled down referee Gray gave Jack Barry a red card after he clashed with Thurrock substitute Robert Clark.
The main official was asking for the Fleet substitute as well, but he had gone down the tunnel. It was later confirmed he also received a red card.
Romford: Omand, Norris, Hayes, J Barry ©, Clayton, C Barry (Ishmail 75), Dicks, Seymour, Reynolds (Cocklin 68), Hazelwood (Kemp 88), Ibe.
Unused substitutes: Hart, Akinshade.