Spirited Boro fail to earn away reward at Aveley
PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:17 05 February 2019
Bostik North: Aveley 2 Romford 0
Romford suffered a third consecutive defeat in the Bostik North to remain rooted to the bottom of the table, but produced a spirited second-half showing away to second-placed Aveley on Monday night.
First-half goals from Shad Ngandu and Alex Akrofi put the Millers in control and they saw the game out in the second period for a 2-0 win.
Paul Martin’s Boro fought back well after the interval and should have been awarded a penalty in the 67th minute when Jake Pitty appeared to foul Khadean Campbell inside the area.
Referee Jack Bloxham gave a free kick right on the edge, though and when that was smashed over by Gabriel Kellum it summed up Romford’s night while the same man also had an effort cleared off the line before full time.
Aveley dominated the opening exchanges, but failed to test James Scannell and the visitors looked a threat on the break.
This was demonstrated with 13 on the clock when Malaki Toussaint let fly from range and although his shot took David Hughes by surprise, the home custodian saved and the ball dropped to a Millers defender.
Sam Cross failed to make the most of a good free kick position five minutes later as he curled over for the home side and Romford continued to hold firm at Parkside.
Boro’s Scannell was called into action in the 28th minute when Marcus Milner found Akrofi, but he fired straight at the away goalkeeper.
The Millers were beginning to increase the tempo now and with 11 minutes left in the first half they made the breakthrough.
Ex-Romford forward Tom Richardson poked through to Ngandu, and he composed himself before rifling into the corner from 10-yards.
It was a deserved goal for James Webster’s Aveley and it appeared to be the only one of the opening 45 before a dramatic end to the half occurred.
On the stroke of half time, Richardson did well and got an effort off which was saved by Scannell, but he could only parry into Akrofi’s path and he stroked home from a few yards.
After producing a dogged defensive display, Romford now trailed by two goals, but they almost reduced the deficit with the last play of the half.
Campbell was sent through on goal, but he saw his effort hit the post and although the rebound came for Kellum, he could only curl over.
Boro came out with more purpose following the 15-minute interval, but Aveley still looked a threat and good play between Richardson and Akrofi sent the latter through, yet he was denied by Scannell in the 49th minute.
Around 10 minutes later and Romford’s goalkeeper was called into action again as a shot from Richardson was partially saved before Dan Cossington cleared off the line.
In the 62nd minute Boro’s number one thwarted Andy Freeman with an impressive tip around the post and then the visitors found a second wind.
Michael Mignot turned neatly inside Aveley’s half and passed to Romford’s Campbell, but he curled over from 22-yards with 65 on the clock.
Two minutes later and Campbell proved a menace again and should have earned the away side a spot-kick.
He latched onto another neat pass from Mignot and was brought down by Pitty, but referee Bloxham awarded a free kick right on the edge.
It looked like the tackle took place inside the area, but Boro had to get on with it and unfortunately Kellum could only curl the set-piece well off target.
More frustration occurred for Martin’s team with 20 minutes left when Milner played a superb pass to Kellum and he rounded Hughes, but Cross got back on the line to head his shot away.
After those missed opportunities the game was essentially up, but Romford would have felt aggrieved again in the 75th minute when Aveley right-back Pitty picked up a caution, having failed to be punished for his tackle on Campbell eight minutes earlier.
The Millers nearly wrapped things up just before this when Richardson’s strike was pushed onto the post and Danny Nesbitt ensured the rebound didn’t go in.
With the temperature dropping and both teams energy sapped, the final exchanges at Parkside were played out with the two sides almost running on empty.
For Aveley it was a job well done and took them above Maldon & Tiptree into second in the battle for the title alongside Bowers & Pitsea.
Romford would have reflected on what might have been, but showed plenty of fight and that will be needed in their bid to survive.
Next up for Martin’s basement team is another tricky trip, this time to Coggeshall Town, who beat Boro 5-3 back on October 13 at Rookery Hill.
Romford: Scannell; Joseph, Nesbitt, Cossington ©, Barlow; Olukoga, Toussaint, Yasar (Taylor 54); Mignot, Kellum (Reynolds 72), Campbell (Hussein 87).
Unused substitutes: Aldridge, Fisher.