Five-star Romford pull clear of danger

PUBLISHED: 21:43 25 March 2015 | UPDATED: 21:43 25 March 2015

Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Ryman North: Romford 5 Barkingside 1

Barkingside manager Matt Frew (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Barkingside manager Matt Frew (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

A Nick Reynolds brace helped Romford to a vital win over Barkingside that moves the Ship Lane club five points clear of the drop.

Having both experienced defeat in their last games it was perhaps inevitable there would be changes for both sides.

The hosts recalled three players to their starting line-up including Jack Barry while the visitors made five alterations to their previous XI.

The Sky Blues nearly took the lead in the sixth minute when Greg Akpele’s cross curved toward goal but Aaron Omand plucked the ball out of the air before it sailed over him.

Akpele had an even better chance when he was played in by Calvin Poku two minutes later but he could only push his left-footed effort wide of the post.

Romford perhaps should have taken the lead when a ball over the top found Reynolds free in the box with eight minutes gone.

Reynolds took the shot first time but scuffed his effort into the path of Jack Barry who blazed over from 10 yards.

With a quarter of an hour gone the Cricklefields club opened the scoring as Dan Cossington’s long ball found Poku.

The striker still had a lot to do but used his strength expertly to shrug off two defenders and fire home.

With 14 minutes left in the half Boro had a great chance to level when a quickly taken free kick found Reynolds in the area but Matt Waldron dived in front of his goal-bound effort.

But they grabbed an equaliser five minutes later when Reynolds finally took his chance as he nodded home a Chris Barry corner.

The hosts made a blisteringly quick start after the break when Reynolds nodded home another Barry ball, this time from Jack, inside 90 seconds of the restart.

And the striker had a glorious chance for a hat-trick of headers two minutes later when Loui Hazelwood’s cross fizzed toward the back post but Reynolds put it across goal and wide.

Hazelwood doubled the advantage 12 minutes into the second half after some trickery in the box before firing low into the corner shortly after Chris Barry hit the angle.

Chris Barry’s right boot delivered another delicious set piece in the 65th minute which was headed into the net by defender James Ishmail.

Boro thought they had gone even further in front five minutes from time but Ryan Imbert was adjudged to have controlled the ball with his arm before netting.

But the substitute got his goal when the ball broke to him from a tackle as he nestled the ball into the net in the final minute of play.

Romford: Omand, Kemp, C Barry (Ibe 71), Ishmail, Byrne, J Barry (Imbert 54), Hazelwood, Seymour, Reynolds (Scarlett 86), Scott, Norris

Barkingside: Clark, Adebayo, Ikumelo (Tranter 85), Waldron, Cossington, Giddings (Taylor 45+1), Francis (Weemes 76), Davie, Burgess, Poku, Akpele

Attendance: 111

Referee: Andrew Parker

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