FA Cup: Romford 3 Baldock Town 2
PUBLISHED: 17:06 26 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 26 August 2018
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Roddy Lemba's 89th-minute penalty sent Romford through to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup at East Thurrock's Rookery Hill on Sunday.
The hosts made a bright start with Lemba just failing to find a teammate in the box, before a Boro corner came back off the crossbar as Danny Cossington tried to convert at the far post.
Lemba was unable to capitalise on some sloppy play from the Baldock defence and the visitors took the lead against the run of play as Kim Forsythe found the bottom corner with a low shot.
Baldock went close to a second as Kieran Barnes crossed from the left for Harry Holland, but the ball was cut out by the Boro defence. And Forsythe then missed out from close range as Rhys Hughes spilled the ball but recovered just in time.
And the hosts were back on level terms soon after when Lemba was fouled just outside the box and Kurt Smith fired the free-kick through the defensive wall and into the corner of the net.
Lemba fired just over, before Ernest Okoh fired into the side netting and Smith fizzed a 30-yard free-kick just past the post.
Boro had a let-off though when Forsythe headed over the onrushing Hughes and a defender got back to clear off the line.
And after Lemba missed a good chance to score, the home side were awarded a penalty when Greg Akpele went down in the box and Smith drilled home from the spot.
Barnes and Zack Decker went close to a reply before the break, but Boro could have gone 3-1 up after the restart as Lemba fired straight at the keeper, then saw Danny Jones fail to force the loose ball home.
Akpele then crossed the left and the ball was spilled again, but Lemba could not force it home.
Holland headed wide for Baldock, before they drew level through Liam Kenna as Romford failed to deal with a corner.
But Boro went close to regaining the lead when Jonathan Nzengo fired just wide from a free-kick, but they got a winner late on when Akpele was fouled in the box again and Lemba fired home from the spot.
Romford: Hughes, Nzengo, Smith, N Reynolds, Forrest, Cossington, Taylor, Akpele, Lemba, Jones, Okoh. Subs: Barlow, Bolton, Joseph, Tombides, Prince, S Reynolds, Okaye.