Bostik North: Paul Martin’s Romford building momentum ahead of crucial period in the season

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 March 2018

Romford have a team huddle (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Romford have a team huddle (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Boro are set to groundshare with East Thurrock United for the 2018/19 campaign and the news has resulted in two hard-fought draws this week

Paul Martin manager of Romford (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)Paul Martin manager of Romford (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Romford manager Paul Martin is hoping the squad can fully focus on trying to stay up in the Bostik North this season now the club appear to have sorted out a new home for the 2018/19 campaign.

Last Friday (March 23), chairman Steve Gardner confirmed Boro had agreed to groundshare with East Thurrock United following the end of this term.

Confirmation is still required from the Isthmian League, but with the Rocks plying their trade in the National League South it seems Romford almost certainly have somewhere to call ‘home’ for next season.

The big question now is what division will Martin’s team be in with the club currently bottom of the table with 27 points.

He said: “It is a big relief (to have a new home sorted) because everyone knows Romford will be running for another season at least regardless of what league we are in.

“The priority was always to keep the club afloat and we have that 100 per cent sorted now and hopefully we can concentrate a bit more on trying to stay up, so the ground news is very good for us.”

Romford have responded to this positive development with two hard-fought draws over the past seven days.

The first occurred on Saturday at home to AFC Sudbury with Ayo Olukoga salvaging a point with 11 minutes to go.

Boro then played out a goalless draw in Suffolk on Tuesday night at Mildenhall Town and it was their first shut-out in the league this season.

Action from Romford's clash with Sudbury (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)Action from Romford's clash with Sudbury (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Martin added: “Back-to-back draws, one goal conceded and one scored is better than the previous 11 in the league where we have lost 9-1, 6-0 and 5-1, so we are a more positive now.

“The changing room is good as gold and the atmosphere and attitude is top drawer and we are all hungry, but unfortunately we are not getting the results we want and probably deserve and that happens sometimes.

“Touch wood there will be a reprieve or we can get out of trouble and we had two neutrals watching the Mildenhall game and they said ‘I can’t believe you are bottom.’

“I turned around and told them ‘the amount of times I have heard that this season, I might have been able to pay a player for a week if I got money for every time someone said it’ and I had a nice chat with them.”

He continued: “We are carrying a lot of injuries now and I think I have nine out at the minute and most of them are centre backs! It is getting tough, but we need to keep rallying and be positive.”

Romford’s result at Mildenhall means they are five points from safety with Norwich United in 23rd position on 32 points from 37 games – one less than Boro have played.

22nd-placed Cheshunt are two points better off than Norwich, although have completed 39 of the league fixtures compared to the 38 Martin’s side have fulfilled.

The point on Tuesday has increased the strong spirit in the camp and although Town had lost their three previous games prior to facing Romford, the Boro boss pointed out the circumstances behind those results and the Suffolk-based club have also largely been in stunning form since December.

Martin added: “Mildenhall lost 7-1 to Brentwood (March 20), but no one has mentioned they didn’t have a goalkeeper that night, so their centre back had to go in goal.

“Then their result on Saturday was a 2-0 loss to Barking and their main forward who is scoring the majority of their goals had to play at centre back, but when we played them on Tuesday the goalkeeper was back and the forward was back up top, so that’s the way it is for us right now.

“It was a pretty dull game. I think both teams had a chance each and it could have gone either way, but both were happy to settle for a 0-0 and we are happy with that and it is our first clean sheet in the league this season, so that’s a bonus.

“The last two draws have been really important, especially with Cheshunt winning and Norwich drawing on Saturday.”

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