Romford dragged back into dogfight

PUBLISHED: 16:47 29 March 2015 | UPDATED: 16:47 29 March 2015

Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO)

Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO)

George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football L

Ryman North: Cray 2 Romford 1

Romford were dragged back into the relegation dogfight after losing to their fellow strugglers at Hayes Lane.

Boro had moved five points clear of the drop zone with their 5-1 win over Barkingside in midweek.

But defeat against Wanderers and Barkingside’s surprise win at Aveley left Paul Martin’s men just two points above the bottom three, having played two games more than Barkingside and Cray.

The match was barely two minutes old when Aaron Omand brought down Cesc Fakinos in the box and Chris Piper put the home side ahead from the penalty spot.

Omand was booked as a result, along with team-mate Ryan Imbert, but Boro went close on five minutes when Imbert flicked a header just wide.

Loui Hazlewood sent a chip just wide from 20 yards, but Wands went close to doubling their lead when Adrian Stone flicked on a Fakinos free kick and Piper’s effort was pushed wide by Omand.

Piper sent another effort just wide, then set up Warren Whitely for a shot that Omand held well.

Boro went close again when an Abs Seymour free-kick fell to Tyrone Scarlett, who fired over, but Martin was forced to replace Luke McLeavy with Callum Ibe just past the half-hour mark and the Boro substitute was also shown a yellow card before the interval.

Seymour fired another effort just over, but Cray hit the woodwork just before the break when Whitely’s cross found Stone, whose header came back off the crossbar.

Romford were back on level terms three minutes after the restart when Hazlewood picked out Scarlett and his shot crept past Luke Colquhoun.

But Boro’s joy was shortlived as Helge Oromo quickly restored Cray’s leader a minute later, converting Orlando Smith’s cross from the right.

Jack Barry flicked an effort wide from another Seymour free-kick, before Hazlewood saw his cross cleared off the line by Nick Humphrey.

Piper fired over from Whitely’s pass, but Joe Scott shot wide from Imbert’s pass at the other end, and Boro were denied just past the hour when Ibe picked out Hazlewood, whose header was superbly saved by Colquhoun.

Humphrey headed straight at Omand, then blocked Imbert’s shot at the other end, while Seymour and Nathan Cooper had their names taken as Romford’s frustrations grew throughout the second half.

Barry’s shot on the turn was straight at Colquhoun, while Hazlewood fired a free-kick over.

Cray finished with five bookings themselves but held on for victory and Romford, with only 10 points from their last 14 matches, welcome local rivals Brentwood to Ship Lane next Saturday, before taking on landlords Thurrock on Easter Monday.

Romford: Omand, Kemp, McLeavy (Ibe 34), Ishmail (Norris 83), Cooper, J Barry, Hazlewood, Seymour, Imbert, Scott (Reynolds 75), Scarlett. Unused subs: Mbala, Hart.

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