Ryman North: Paul Martin happy Romford goalkeeper Callum Chafer got deserved clean sheet against Aveley
PUBLISHED: 14:00 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:34 26 April 2017
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After four consecutive defeats, Boro played out a goalless draw with rivals the Millers on final-day of regular league season
Romford boss Paul Martin was pleased Callum Chafer was able to get a deserved clean sheet in Saturday’s final Ryman North match of the season at home to Aveley.
The 20-year-old goalkeeper had conceded 14 times in his previous four games despite doing little wrong and therefore the Boro boss called on his back four to help Chafer end a remarkable campaign on a high.
Martin said: “I called it in the changing room before the match and said I had felt sorry for Callum in the last few fixtures because he hadn’t put a foot wrong and had picked the ball out of his net 14 times.
“He really didn’t have much to do in those games, so I told the lads they needed to defend a bit better and reward their goalkeeper with a clean sheet.
“Callum deserved that and he got it, so that’s his seventh of the season and he also saved seven penalties, which is great for a 20-year-old.”
The performances of Chafer have once again helped Romford retain their status as a Ryman club.
Despite finishing just five points above the bottom three, Boro virtually guaranteed their safety in March.
Martin discussed how crucial the role of a Romford goalkeeper is, adding: “I do try and explain to youngsters like Callum that if they went to a bigger club they are not going to learn anything because their defences are strong.
“At least at Romford they know they are going to get plenty of practise and over the years we have never been able to afford to have an average goalkeeper.
“We have had Neil Finn, Dan Mulrooney, Lamar Johnson, (Michael) Gooch and now Callum, so they are all very good goalkeepers.
“I think our goalkeeper is always going to be the person every year who keeps us in the league, so Callum’s got bags of praise from me.
“We wanted him earlier than we actually got him, but since he has been here he has stuck at it and done very well for us.”
Romford’s manager had plenty of other motivation to ensure Chafer kept a clean sheet on Saturday.
A shut-out against Aveley ensured the Millers couldn’t play their celebratory song in the Ship Lane changing rooms after the match.
“There weren’t much in the game, but our first port of call was to stop them winning and playing that song they play in the changing room after they win,” joked Martin.
“It’s not a thing I like to hear, so we did that and obviously they were in good form, but we were frustrated - we didn’t create enough chances and it’s been the case for the last few games.
“We at least defended a lot better, but they had a goal disallowed and so did we and they have hit the crossbar and Chinedu (McKenzie) has missed a great chance to score his 30th of the season.
“I think anyone could have nicked it 1-0, but it wouldn’t have changed anything and it should have been a 0-0 and it was.”
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