Isthmian League: Cambridge City 1 Romford 0
PUBLISHED: 09:34 12 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:34 12 January 2020
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Much-changed Romford slipped to a slender loss at Histon in their first match of 2020 on Saturday.
Having been thumped 6-0 at high-flying Aveley in their final outing of 2018, then seen their home match with Brentwood fall victim to a waterlogged pitch, Boro were relieved to hear the Glassworld Stadium pitch had passed a morning inspection.
But it was heavy going, with lots of sand in places, and a strong wind blowing down the field also hampered the efforts of both sides.
Boro owner-manager Glenn Tamplin handed debuts to six more new signings, only to see Gabriel Adelowo forced off with an injury after just four minutes.
The hosts had the elements in their favour in the first half and Nick Dembele's early free-kick went close to the far post.
Dembele was inches away from a dangerous right-wing cross on 11 minutes, before Romford's first chance of note saw Mekhi McLeod's cross from the right cleared before Jason Banton could profit.
Arel Amu and Dembele had further chances for City, but Boro - who saw Bobby Mills replace McLeod on 36 minutes - had a couple of half-chances before the break as Louis Theophanous fired just over, following a good move involving Banton and Sanmi Odelusi, then saw a free-kick deflected behind.
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Jake Jessup watched a curling shot from Dembele fly past a post but Theophanous had the first chance of the second half, when his low shot flashed wide.
Archie Tamplin was Boro's third substitute of the day, replacing Odelusi on 52 minutes, and the only goal came just past the hour mark when Nathan Olukanmi burst clear and beat the advancing Jessup with a deflected shot.
Tamplinn had a free-kick tipped over by Dan George and went close again on 78 minutes, firing just over the crossbar after Adam Morgan created the chance.
Morgan also set up Theophanous, who was off-target, and George gathered a Boro free-kick and corner without alarm before the final chance of the game fell to City's Chris Regis, who fired wide in the last minute.
Defeat leaves Boro eight points adrift at the bottom of the table, albeit with four games in hand on Felixstowe & Walton, ahead of a home date with play-off hopefuls Tilbury on Wednesday.
Romford: Jessup, Eyong, Young-Chambers, Odelusi (Tamplin 52), Okosieme, Adelowo (Toussaint 4), Leacock McLeod (Mills 36), Bonnett-Johnson, Theophanous, Morgan, Banton.
Unused subs: Joseph-Baker, Exley Banks.