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Bostik North: Romford 1 Grays Athletic 0

PUBLISHED: 15:09 01 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 01 January 2019

Ayo Olukoga netted for Romford against Grays (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ayo Olukoga netted for Romford against Grays (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Romford got 2019 off to the perfect start with a hard-fought win over Grays at Rookery Hill.

Romford players celebrate Ayo Olukoga's early goal against Grays (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Romford players celebrate Ayo Olukoga's early goal against Grays (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Boro had lost 10 of their previous 11 league matches, drawing the other with Basildon, to slide down the table towards the bottom.

But Ayo Olukoga’s early goal was enough for Paul Martin’s men to get the new year off on a winning note and earn three valuable points.

Having seen his side beaten 4-1 at Tilbury on Boxing Day, Martin made three changes to his starting line-up, with Frederico Hernandez, Toby Barlow and Kurt Smith coming in for Reece Hewitt, Max Bradford and Max Bolton.

And the hosts got off to a flying start as Olukoga claimed his third goal of the campaign after only eight minutes.

The early goal was just what the game needed as it opened up play, with the action flowing from end to end.

Clear cut chances were at a premium during an entertaining contest and Grays saw their hopes hit nine minutes from time by the dismissal of former Romford defender Michael Finneran.

Boro were able to preserve their slender lead in the time remaining to give their loyal fans a long overdue victory to celebrate as they climbed back up to 17th in the table ahead of a trip to fellow strugglers Soham Town Rangers on Saturday.

Romford: Aldridge, Hernandez, Barlow, Taylor, Nesbitt, Cossington, Toussaint, Olukoga, Reynolds (Bradford 61), Lemba (Bolton 78), Smith (Joseph 90). Unused sub: Daly.

Attedance: 182.

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