Bostik North: Bury Town 1 Romford 1
PUBLISHED: 11:51 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:51 20 August 2018
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Romford were denied a last-gasp winner and top spot after a hard-fought contest at Ram Meadow.
Smarting from an opening day defeat, the home team had the better of the early exchanges in midfield, playing some crisp passing football in their build up but without causing the Boro defence too many problems until the 20th minute when a shot beat Rhys Hughes but rebounded out off the inside of the post.
Romford replied with a nice Nick Reynolds ball out of defence down the left which gave Kurt Smith the space to cross into the area where Kris Newby’s fierce shot was blocked as it looked to be heading in.
On the half-hour mark two similar injuries in quick succession caused some major disruption to the visitor’s game plan as key men Reynolds and Newby both had to be replaced.
But after a period of adjustment and having to contain a flurry of Bury attacks they came back strongly and took the lead on the stroke of half time.
Good work from Jonathan Nzenga had set up Daniel Jones five minutes earlier, for a shot and header that were both well saved, and another jinking run from Nzenga won a corner which he swung into the goalmouth for Rodney Lemba to outjump everyone and glance the ball home.
Almost straight from the restart Romford could easily have doubled their lead as a through ball left Jones clear of the home defence but agonisingly, his effort went inches the wrong side of the post.
Nzenga set up Greg Akpele shortly after but he could only fire over under pressure from a defender, but then Bury seemed to take hold of the game for a while and Hughes had to save point blank in front of goal while other opportunities from good positions were too high or wide of the target.
The equaliser eventually came six minutes from the end of normal time as a swift move down the right left a Bury forward with the space to put in a cross that was volleyed home from close range by Tanner Call.
Neither side were going to settle for a point and although the hosts were piling on the pressure it was Romford who looked more likely to sneak a winner and the Bury keeper had to pull off the save of the match from an Ernest Okoh piledriver that was heading just inside the angle of the bar and near post.
Ten deep into added time Boro thought they had won it as Okoh was fouled as he ran towards the Bury goal, but was still able to get in a shot which took a wicked deflection off a defender’s boot and looped over the keeper before hitting the inside of the far post and spinning over the line.
However the referee had whistled for the foul as the ball was heading towards goal and although the goal was ruled out with Romford instead being awarded a free kick, which inevitably lead to nothing.
Romford: Rhys Hughes, Nathan Joseph, Kurt Smith, George Forrest, Nick Reynolds (Daniel Jones 28), Danny Cossington, Chris Taylor, Kris Newby (Golden Igbinewka 30), Rodney Lemba, Jonathan Nzenga, Greg Akpele (Ernest Okoh 79). Unused subs: Toby Barlow, Max Bolton.