Ryman North: Paul Martin not pleased with Romford players after defeat to champions Brightlingsea Regent
PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 April 2017
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Ex-Boro forward Billy Hunt hurt old club at North Road, as visitors conceded three times inside the first half
Romford boss Paul Martin was frustrated his team made life easy for new Ryman North champions Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday at North Road.
Boro suffered a 4-1 defeat and with Maldon & Tiptree only drawing at home to Dereham Town, it meant Regent sealed the title and promotion.
Martin was disappointed to see his team concede after two minutes, before watching the hosts score three more times before the 48th minute to earn a comprehensive victory.
“I think if we looked back over our conversation during pre-season, I tipped Brightlingsea for the league and they’ve done it,” said Martin.
“They won it against us on Saturday, but no disrespect to them, we gifted them the goals.
“All round we didn’t defend well enough and I had plans for certain players and some of the lads didn’t understand them. It was disappointing because I asked some to do man-to-man jobs and some did it well, but some of the others didn’t.”
One of the Regent players that Martin had drawn up a plan for was former forward Billy Hunt.
Hunt spent a short time with Romford during the 2012/13 campaign and came back to haunt them on Saturday.
After Phil Kelly made the breakthrough with only two minutes played, Regent had to wait until five minutes before the break to double their advantage as Hunt fired home against his old club and Aaron Condon made it 3-0 in the 43rd minute.
The break brought little respite for Boro, as Hunt completed his brace three minutes after the restart.
Ryan Mallet pulled one back for Romford in the 83rd minute, but Regent sealed the title to spark celebratory scenes for Hunt and another Boro old boy in Tom Richardson.
“Tom has done it before at Brentwood Town and Billy Hunt was with us previously and he scored on Saturday,” said Martin.
“Billy looked very good and I thought he was their best player by a mile with his strength and finishing – his left foot is really powerful.
“We tried to do a man-to-man job on him, but it didn’t pay off as he ran us ragged all game.”
Romford are still 14th in the table despite the defeat and only two points off 12th-placed Tilbury with three games left.
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