Sweet 16 unbeaten at home for Romford

PUBLISHED: 08:23 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 08:23 17 November 2016

Chinedu McKenzie celebrates a goal for Romford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Chinedu McKenzie celebrates a goal for Romford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Romford 1 Waltham Abbey 0

Romford made it 16 games unbeaten at home with a slender win over Ryman North rivals Waltham Abbey at Ship Lane last night.

But they were given a helping hand by visiting keeper Lewis Lockyer, who gifted Chinedu McKenzie his 14th goal of the season with just eight minutes remaining.

Traffic trouble on the M25 led to a delayed kick-off, with Abbey sending an early chance over Callum Chafer’s crossbar after a slip in the Romford defence.

Boro looked the better of the two sides in a quiet opening, with Tarren Dhariwell forcing Lockyer into a good save from the edge of the box.

And the hosts went close from a corner when the ball deflected off an unsuspecting player and flew straight to Lockyer.

Chafer denied Greg Moorse at the other end, before McKenzie saw a chance go to waste when the ball came to h im in the box.

McKenzie produced a strong run into the Abbey box soon after, only to be denied by a fine tackle, but Abbey had a great chance when Billy Holland’s ball in from the right found Moorse at the far post but he fired wide.

The visitors were guilty of another bad miss when Ryan Blackman tried to reach Moorse’s mishit effort but couldn’t convert, before Michael Spencer flashed a 25-yard drive just wide of Chafter’s goal.

But Boro were then denied by a linesman’s flag after McKenzie found the back of the net, before Chafer spilled Spencer’s shot six minutes before the break and just beat Blackman to the loose ball.

The hosts had a good chance to open the scoring when Green beat the offside trap to go through on goal, but Lockyer got a slight touch on his shot to concede a corner, before opposite number Chafer was called into action again to make another good save.

But Chafer had a let-off on the stroke of half time when Blackman’s curling effort from the edge of the box came back off a post.

Blackman got another sighter at the start of the secnod half, but Chafer saved his initial shot and the rebound was fired across the Boro goal, then Danny Cossington fired straight at Lockyer after making a late run to the edge of the box at a corner.

Chafer denied Moorse when Spencer’s deflected attempt fell into his path and Blackman was off-target with the follow-up once more, before the Boro keeper just beat Ruaridh Kay to a loose ball after appearing to be deceived by a Spencer cross.

Boro looked to be building a promising attack when captain Cossington chose to pass to McKenzie, who had strayed offside, instead of going for goal himself and Ryan Mallet saw a shot deflected over, before Matt Toms saw his low centre for McKenzie cut out by the Abbey keeper.

The visitors should have broken the deadlock when Moorse had a shot well saved by Chafer and the ball reached Holland at the far post, but the Boro keeper produced another fine save to keep the scoreline blank.

Lockyer was not to be outdone as he denied Jamie Age and McKenzie in quick succession, but Chafer had to save well from Spencer before the decisive moment of the night saw Lockyer’s poor clearance fall at the feet of McKenzie, who was in no mood to pass up the invitation to fire into an unguarded net.

Buoyant Boro almost went 2-0 up when the ball was pulled back to McKenzie at the near post, but Lockyer tipped his effort over and then saw Cossington head wide from a corner.

And one goal proved enough for Paul Martin’s men to claim all three points ahead of their trip to lowly Great Wakering this weekend.

Romford: Chafer, Adebayo, Dhariwell (Bankole 77), Boswell, Cossington, Mallet, Olukoga (Taylor 77), Age (Reynolds 86), McKenzie, Green, Toms.

Unused sub: Wray.

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