Romford crash to heavy defeat at home to Grays Athletic

PUBLISHED: 21:40 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:40 16 October 2019

Romford manager Paul Martin (right) with Mark Lord (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Romford manager Paul Martin (right) with Mark Lord (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Isthmian North: Romford 1 Grays Athletic 6

Romford crashed to a heavy 5-1 defeat to high-flying Grays Athletic on their return to Isthmian North action after a long lay-off from league fixtures.

Braces from Joao Carlos and George Purcell as well as a goal from Steven King and an own goal from Boro goalkeeper Jack Riddle sealed the three points for Jim Cooper's men at the Brentwood Arena.

Boro winger Ethan Kessel tried his luck in the opening minute of the match but sent a shot spiralling wide and high.

The hosts continued to put pressure on as Grays defender Steven King gave the ball away cheaply as he looked to play a back pass.

Striker Temi Babalola drove in to nab the ball but his touch was too heavy and goalkeeper Daniel Sambridge collected the ball comfortably.

A clearance upfield shortly after also put the former Woodford Town striker in and Sambridge raced out of his goal only to be rounded by Babalola.

The youngster had a shot that almost trickled in but Sambridge and a Grays defender managed to get back to clear it off the line.

In the 20th minute the visitors had their first real chance in the match as Joao Carlos turned inside the box and let fly but it was held by Boro goalkeeper Jack Riddle.

Carlos then looked to shoot from distance just minute later after picking up a pass from Jack McQueen, but his shot was deflected out for a corner.

The resulting corner led to a poor clearance from Romford at the back post which fell to Grays new signing and former Hornchurch attacker George Purcell but a good block denied his effort.

Purcell was then played through on goal behind the backline, where he tried to put it in at the near post, but Riddle got his hand to it and sent it out for corner.

In the 36th minute Grays broke the deadlock as Steven King buried the ball from 18 yards after goalkeeper Riddle failed to catch the ball from a Purcell corner which led to a chance for Lewis Dark in front before it was scrambled out to the defender.

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Grays doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time as goalkeeper Jack Riddle turned the ball into his own net after a scramble in front of goal.

Two minutes into the second-half and Purcell broke clear down the left but was denied by Riddle.

Former Hornchurch man Purcell finally found the back of the net in the 55th minute as he rocketed a free-kick into the top left corner to make it 3-0 to Grays.

Not even a minute later Joao Carlos slotted the ball home with the outside of his boot to stretch the lead to 4-0 as he raced down the left flank.

Romford pulled one back in the 64th minute as striker Babalola slid a low cross from Giovanni Palmer in at the back post after a great run from the substitute.

Three minutes later Carlos rounded goalkeeper Riddle as he challenged the shooter to slot it home after being played in by Purcell.

The hosts Giovanni Palmer struck the ball from the edge of the box with five minutes left but was denied by former Heybridge Swifts shot-stopper Sambridge.

Purcell volleyed a rebound in for his second of the match from a Stanley Muguo shot to make it 6-1 to Grays with just two minutes left to go in the match.

Romford: Riddle, Joseph, Barlow (Ogun 67), McLeavy, Agboola, Cossington (Palmer 46), Kessel, Toussaint, Babalola, Cox (Sumithran 66), Little.

Unused subs: Nesbitt and Thandi.

Grays Athletic: Sambridge, McQueen, Joynes, Miller, King (Martin 62), Callender (Ogunrinde 74), Clark, Hahn, Purcell, Dark (Muguo 84), Carlos.

Unused subs: Adebiyi and Pindy.

Attendance: 118.

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