Ten-man Romford get Trophy tonic
PUBLISHED: 08:48 05 October 2015 | UPDATED: 08:48 05 October 2015
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FA Trophy: Romford 3 North Greenford United 2
A brace from debutant Chinedu McKenzie and a header from Nick Reynolds helped Romford edge past North Greenford United to secure a berth in the next round of the FA Trophy.
Romford had to play out a nerve-racking final 10 minutes with 10 men after having substitute Robbie Farrell sent off for serious foul play, but they held on to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Both teams came into the game on the back of much needed wins, but it was the home side who took control early on.
Ryan Boswell received the ball on the right side before drilling it across the penalty area to find an unmarked McKenzie, but the winger was unable to divert the ball into a gaping net and saw his effort bounce inches wide.
Three minutes later and it was Greenford’s time to press, a corner was sent in by George Moore and Yannis Ambroisine connected powerfully with the header only to see a superb Michael Gooch fingertip the ball over.
However, on 11 minutes Romford would strike first when the magnificent George Woodward floated a cross to the near post where McKenzie powerfully flicked the ball over the head of United keeper Amadou Tangara and into the top corner.
It was a brilliantly taken goal and a much deserved lead for Boro, but the visitors looked to reply immediately as Aaron McLeish was sent through only for Gooch to come off his line to take any venom out of the shot, allowing Matt Frew to clear easily off the line.
Gooch was called into action again a minute later, but an acrobatic dive to his left kept out a side-footed effort from Moore.
North Greenford would rue those missed chances as the home side extended their lead in the 18th minute.
A perfectly weighted ball down the line by Frew was taken down by Greg Akepele who chipped a pass into the feet of McKenzie.
This enabled the number 10 time in the area to go past two defenders before calmly slotting past Tangara.
The two-goal lead would be halved just 30 seconds later, though, as straight from the restart the visitors lofted the ball into the Boro area.
Confusion among the Romford defensive ranks meant that Ahmed Mohammed was able to pounce on the free ball before knocking it over Gooch’s head and into the net.
The tempo would die down for the rest of the half, with chances becoming few and far between for both sides.
A palm-stinging effort by Romford’s Jake Giddings and a poke into the side netting from Greenford’s Moore were the only two chances of note for the remainder of the opening period.
But the home team came out for the second half raring to add to their advantage and it took just eight minutes for that to happen.
This time a tireless Reynolds would get on the scoresheet after play was worked out to Boswell on the right and his inch-perfect cross found an unmarked Reynolds in the area, and he was able to nod home his second goal in two games and his third for the campaign.
Romford then threatened to run rampant and a spirited McKenzie was centimetres wide of bagging a hat-trick when his first time volley found the side-netting before a corner was taken short to Woodward and his left-footed screamer was tipped onto the crossbar by Tangara.
The resulting corner was cleared as far as Boro captain Frew, but the centre back saw his 25-yard strike curl onto the crossbar.
A midfield battle would then ensue, with Romford’s Giddings and Greenford’s Ambroisine fighting for supremacy in the centre of the park.
However, the home side’s rhythm would be shaken as in the 83rd minute substitute Farrell was sent off for allegedly kicking out at Mohammed.
Prior to the incident Mohammed had ridden several tackles before a clearly frustrated Farrell decided to lash out at the midfielder to stop any further progress.
Referee Ricky Adams sought the need to show the striker a straight red leaving Romford to finish the game with 10 men.
And the visitors would profit instantly from the man advantage as the resulting free kick was floated into the penalty area, where Ambroisine leapt highest to glance the ball off the back of his head and past an on-rushing Gooch.
Ten minutes of solid defending followed as Romford looked to see out their first cup win of the season.
And they should have sealed the result in the 88th minute when substitute Luke Stanley showed excellent strength and pace to run down the byline before crossing the ball to the feet of Akwasi Marfo.
But the Boro newcomer took too long on the ball, allowing Tangara to halt any attempt on goal.
It did not matter, as a lack of creativity from the Greenford forward line meant the home side saw out the game with little further trouble and moved through to the next round, awaiting today’s draw.
Romford: Gooch, Boswell, Woodward, Frew, Burton, Cossington, Giddings (Tubey 73), Akeple, Reynolds (Farrell 60), McKenzie (Stanley 73), Marfo.
Unused subs: Potter, Culham.
North Greenford: Tangara, Kokolou, Mukasa (Djalo 57), Yoboue, Kiluangu, Ambroisine, Mitchell, Mohammed, McLeish, Moore, Florescu.
Unused subs: Humaid, Bulu, Pal.