Romford well beaten as Regent are crowned
PUBLISHED: 17:23 08 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:23 08 April 2017
Brightlingsea Regent 4 Romford 1
Romford’s hopes of spoiling Brightlingsea Regent’s Ryman North title party last barely a minute at North Road.
That was all it took for the home side to take the lead as a Romford corner was cleared downfield and Phil Kelly shrugged off Charlie Parrish and sent a right-footed shot across Callum Chafer and inside the far post.
And it might have been 2-0 on 12 minutes when Aaron Condon’s free-kick was deflected and Billy Hunt’s close-range header was turned away by a superb reflex save from Chafer.
The visitors got their first sight of goal two minutes later, when Akwasi Marfo broke from a Regent corner, cutting inside from the right and sending a low shot on target for Sam Cowler to smother.
But Regent were posing most of the questions, with Billy Hunt stepping past tackles only to balloon over from 20 yards and Kelly forcing a routine save from Chafer from the left of the box.
Greg Akpele spooned a left-footed effort into a surrounding garden after a run from midfield on 25 minutes, but Boro had a let-off when Regent forced three successive corners and saw Tom Richardson head over from the last of them on the half-hour mark.
An inswinging free-kick from Condon picked out Richardson on 38 minutes, but his diving header was straight at Chafer.
However, there was no escape for Romford two minutes later when Regent captain Matt Cripps picked out Hunt on the left edge of the box and he sent an angled left-footed drive past Chafer and inside the far post to double the home side’s advantage.
And it was 3-0 three minutes later when Josh Gould’s long throw-in from in front of the clubhouse somehow reached Condon at the far post and he bundled the ball over the line with his chest.
The second half was only three minutes old when Regent claimed their fourth goal as a long ball found Hunt unmarked in space and he advanced to slot past the exposed Chafer.
Akpele’s deflected shot was spilled behind by Cowler for a Boro corner soon after, with captain James Ishmail heading wide at the far post, but Hunt headed narrowly wide from Kelly’s right-wing cross at the other end as the home fans in a crowd of 242 began to go through their repertoire of songs.
Richardson was taken off with a quarter of the game remaining, frustrated at not having found the net against his former club, but the Regent party was starting to get into full swing off the pitch by this stage.
And it was nearly 5-0 on 70 minutes as Kelly burst down the right and crossed for Condon, whose far post header was pushed out by Chafer, before a follow-up attempt was deflected over the bar by Tom Potter.
As it was, Romford grabbed a consolation goal seven minutes from time when Ryan Mallett got up to meet a left-wing corner from fellow substitute Chris Barry and sent a header in off the underside of the crossbar.
But it was merely a footnote as Regent’s title celebrations got underway.
Romford: Chafer, Boswell, Marfo (Barry 60), Parrish, Potter, Ishmail, Olukoga (Mallett 74), Akpele, McKenzie, Taylor, Green (Browne-Sykes 69). Unused subs: Abdeen, Wray.
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