Grays Athletic 2, Romford 1
A LACK of belief in the opening stages of Sunday’s cup tie at Mill Field cost Romford dear as their Ryman Premier hosts got off to a flier and then kept battling Boro at bay.
Normally Romford play at an upbeat tempo but there was an unusual hesitancy about their opening and Grays took advantage, knocking the ball about and after seven minutes they carved open the Romford defence with Joao Carlos rounding keeper Aaron Oman to slide the ball into an empty net.
And Grays were celebrating again soon after with the ball in the back of the net again, but it was ruled out for an infringement.
The game began to get a bit feisty, with one or two late tackles flying in and couple of face-to-face confrontations and the rise in tempo suite Romford who began to get back into the match.
Romford started to create good chances and Scott Truman heading wide and then Junior Baker scrambled a Ryan Imbert shot over the line.
The half closed with further Romford pressure and a great chance was wasted when Imbert dived to meet Kurt Smith’s excellent far post cross but he pushed his header wide of the post.
Boro started off where they left off when the second half resumed but chances went begging and it was somewhat against the run of play when Grays grabbed a second, Kenny Beaney reacting quickly as a ball broke out of the box to strike a superb curling shot into the top corner.
Romford threw on striker Eddie Hart on 65 minutes and he made an impact just two minutes later slamming a shot past Lamar Johnson.
Though they were always susceptible to a counter attack, Romford piled forward through the closing stages and came closest to an equaliser when Jamie Dicks headed against the woodwork from another excellent Smith cross.