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Ryman North: Paul Martin determined to lead Romford to new stadium after reaching milestone

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 November 2016

Romford boss Paul Martin is presented with gifts after managing 450 matches by chairman Steve Gardener (left) and secretary Colin Ewenson (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Romford boss Paul Martin is presented with gifts after managing 450 matches by chairman Steve Gardener (left) and secretary Colin Ewenson (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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Boro boss took charge of club for 450th time on Wednesday and is now looking forward to battles at Haringey Borough and Brentwood Town this week

Rhys Madden of Bowers denies Matt Toms of Romford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Rhys Madden of Bowers denies Matt Toms of Romford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Paul Martin reiterated his desire to lead Romford into their new stadium after taking charge of his 450th match for the club on Wednesday.

Bowers & Pitsea were the visitors to Ship Lane for Martin’s landmark match and spoiled the occasion with two goals in the second half to earn a 2-1 Ryman North win, following Tarren Dhariwel’s eighth-minute opener, ending Romford’s 16-match unbeaten run at home.

Martin expressed his desire to be Romford’s first manager in their new stadium, which is eventually set to be built on Westlands Playing Fields.

“I’ve never thought about leaving because I don’t enjoy it anymore, it is just the frustration of not having the ground or a budget,” he said.

“You do get tired and eight or nine years of my life has been dedicated to Romford. I only talk about walking away because I can’t see the future coming and like I’ve said before, I have always wanted to be the first manager to lead them into the new stadium.

“If I walk away the game after I’ll be a proud man, but I’m not here for the sake of it, I’m here because I love Romford. We need to try to push things on and everyone tries their hardest, but when you’ve got no backing or money coming in it’s hard.”

Martin went on to reflect upon some of the talented players who have represented Boro and moved on to clubs with better finances.

Romford manager Paul Martin issues instructions (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Romford manager Paul Martin issues instructions (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The achievement by Romford’s manager is all the more impressive considering he works without a budget – unlike most in the division.

“The priority for me is I’ve always enjoyed bringing youngsters in and moving them up the league,” said Martin after his 184th Boro defeat.

“If I got out all my old books and we looked at some of the players we’ve had, if I put an XI together I could probably win the league!

“We’ve had the likes of Adrian Clifton, Nile Ranger, Alex Read, Kurt Smith and Lamar Johnson. It is not a bad side! But we are a feeder club and we’re always going to be, until we get our own ground.”

The immediate priority for Boro is this weekend’s Ryman North fixture at Haringey Borough on their 3G surface at Coles Park.

Martin hopes his players can be calmer in possession after struggling to break Bowers down once they fell behind at Ship Lane.

He added: “It will be a tough game because Haringey are strong and quick. In comparison, we are not the strongest or quickest team.

Will Green of Romford tangles with Ben Sartain of Bowers (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Will Green of Romford tangles with Ben Sartain of Bowers (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

“But if we can try and play on the 3G and put the ‘ballers’ out, hopefully we can be calmer in possession.

“A game is 90 minutes and you can go 2-1 down and sometimes we panic and do a bit too much and complicate the game. We need to just settle down and be patient.”

After visiting Haringey at the weekend, Romford make the short trip to local rivals Brentwood on Tuesday (November 29).

When the two teams did battle on September 21, Boro let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2, despite first half efforts by Will Green and Jonathan Adebayo at Ship Lane.

Martin’s team have let several points slip from their grasp this season after taking leads, but fought back well at Great Wakering Rovers.

The hosts struck first after six minutes, but Chinedu McKenzie hit a stunning equaliser to ensure a share of the spoils.

“We have a nice run of local games coming up and we definitely know Saturday won’t be off if we have bad weather,” said Martin.

“I think every manager can turn around and say they’ve thrown away points this year, but we’ve thrown 10 away where we have been two goals up and drawn or winning with just seconds to go. We could be five points off the play-offs – instead we are two off the bottom three.”

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