Clayton sees red as Romford bow out of League Cup to Grays Athletic
PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 November 2013 | UPDATED: 09:26 28 November 2013
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Ryman League Cup: Romford 0 Grays Athletic 2
Romford were beaten by local rivals Grays in the third round of the Robert Dyas League Cup but once again made the Ryman Premier side work hard to progress and just lacked the required cutting edge to cause the visitors more problems.
A late goal from Dan Fry, after Paul Clayton had been shown a second yellow, sealed the win following Phil Anderson’s first half strike.
Grays started the better of the two teams and should have gone ahead when Jared Small crossed into the box but the unmarked Joel Nouble, on loan from Dagenham & Redbridge, somehow headed wide.
More chances arose for the visitors, this time Jeff Hammond was the man to waste an opportunity, although this was largely down to Romford keeper Aaron Omand, who made several top drawer saves throughout.
Slowly the host got into the game however and it was two players brought into the starting line up that had their first few opportunities.
Firstly Reece Tranter had a shot blocked following a terrific Abs Seymour run and then after dribbling into the box, Tom Richardson had a effort saved.
Robbie Norris and Dan Jones both fired over the bar as Romford continued getting players into promising positions, but lacked the quality in the final third.
The referee then frustrated the Ship Lane side as he firstly missed an off the ball elbow on midfielder Norris before booking Clayton for the use of his elbow, a caution which would prove costly.
Six minutes before the break and the visitors went ahead, as Anderson latched onto the loose ball and beat Omand via a slight deflection to give Grays a half time lead.
Joao Carlos was introduced for the Blues at the break and he made a huge difference for the visitors.
Craig Pope and Kenny Beaney fired over the bar for Grays before Romford threatened themselves in the second period.
Jones had a free-kick deflected wide and from the resulting corner the ball fell nicely for Eddie Hart but his shot was comfortably saved.
Beaney then tested Omand from two free-kicks, both outstanding efforts, only bettered by the superb saves produced by the Romford stopper.
With the game edging towards the final 10 minutes, Carlos burst past three players before Clayton blocked his path and the vice-captain, who was tremendous throughout, was given his marching orders.
Grays ensured their progress as the menacing Nouble chased down a long pass before combining with Hammond to set up Fry, who slotted home in the 90th minute.
It was a performance to be proud of for Romford though and they’ll hope to take that into Saturday’s league fixture against Redbridge at Oakside.
Romford: Omand, Ishmail, Oates (Woodward 78), Norris, Barry, Clayton, Jones, Seymour, Hart (Reynolds 77), Richardson, Tranter (Imbert 77).