Ryman North: Romford underdogs can shock Ryman big boys again warns manager Paul Martin
PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 January 2017
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Ship Lane club looking to upset play-off hopefuls Cheshunt and Hornchurch over the next two weeks
Romford boss Paul Martin knows his team will be firm underdogs over the next two weeks, but is backing them to spring even more surprises in the Ryman North.
Boro host sixth-placed Cheshunt tomorrow (Saturday), before a short trip to local rivals Hornchurch next weekend (February 4).
Most observers would expect the Ship Lane club to come away empty-handed from two such fixtures, but Martni’s men have already upset the odds numerous times this season.
“We have two tough matches coming up against Cheshunt and Hornchurch, so the teams below us will be smling,” said Martin.
“But if we perform like we have over the last eight years in the Ryman League we can definitely get a result.
“I’d take three points out of these next two games, but we go in with a lot of confidence because we are creating plenty of chances.”
A couple of weeks ago Romford fans may have looked at this fixture and expected to come up against a familiar face in Michael Gooch.
The former Boro goalkeeper and Hornchurch Athletic cricketer left Ship Lane at the end of last season to link up with Cheshunt and made a positive impression at the Ambers as he kept eight league clean sheets during the first half of the campaign.
But he has surprisingly been dropped and is set to be only among the substitutes on Saturday.
Martin added: “Yes, he’s been on the bench for the last few games and they’ve picked up some results, so he has to fight for his place, but he will and he’s a great lad.”
Romford could do with Gooch right now as current number one Callum Chafer had a bruising encounter at Dereham Town on Saturday and left the pitch on a stretcher.
It didn’t stop Boro winning 3-2 with goals from Jonathan Adebayo, Kai Bichard and Greg Akpele, as Nick Reynolds donned the gloves late on.
Chafer is ‘touch and go’ to return for this weekend and that is not the only position Martin has headaches about going into the Ambers clash.
“We have been scratching around for a centre-back in the last four or five games, so that’s been hard,” admitted Martin.
“James Ishmail is still a week away so probably won’t play against Cheshunt and Dan Cossington has a bit of a sore groin.
“Ryan Mallett has played at the back, but he’s suspended for Saturday, so we need to come up with a plan and might drop Nick Reynolds in there if we have to.
“I’ve just signed a right-back to cover for Ryan Boswell if we need to put him inside to centre-back, so we have options.
“Charlie Yexley is one of the lads I’ve brought in this week. He was with Dagenham & Redbridge as a scholar and I’ve plucked a Sunday League player too.
“Jack Sykes Brown is his name and nobody would have heard of him before, but he has really impressed in training and will be part of the squad for Saturday.”
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