Bostik Division North
Venue: Burroughs Park
2018-19 Season – Match 42
Saturday 19th January 2019 – 3pm KO
Great Wakering: Green & White Striped Shirts, White Shorts, Green Socks
Romford: Blue & Yellow Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
GWR prevail in tension-filled basement battle at Burroughs Park
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
This weekend saw me dip into the Bostik North to see Great Wakering welcome Romford in what was the visitors’ 1,000th league match, an extraordinary achievement – particularly given their rather nomadic existence in recent years. Gary Kimble’s side had a change in goal with Harry Seaden coming in, with new signing Marc Gorbell joining Ollie Woodhouse in the centre of defence. Physical forward Shomari Barnwell was joined in atack by debutant Matt Rush, on loan from Southend Utd Academy. Boro were once again led by the fearless Danny Cossington, with Nick Reynolds, Ridwan Hussein and Alfie Cleal among their attack. A strong bench contained Reece Hewitt, Khadean Campbell and Roddy Lemba.
The match got underway with a flourish from the hosts, though in the opening quarter-hour, winger Billy Johnson and forward Sham Barnwell missed good chances when through on goal to break the deadlock. Romford gradually found their way back into proceedings in terms of territory though you got the sense the tension was rising, given that both sides really could have done with the points here. Boro forward Nick Reynolds lashed a strike from a narrow angle which Rovers goalkeeper Harry Seaden was grateful to gather. The visitors could have pinched a lead in the latter stages of the half as midfielder Ayo Olukoga spurned two half-chances but was stopped by Seaden. Rovers responded strongly as both Matt Rush couldn’t quite get a shot away from Johnson’s cross before winger Jake Gordon blazed a free-kick over the woodwork, from a promising position.
Half-Time: Great Wakering 0 – 0 Romford
The match badly needed a goal and both sides made a change at the interval with Josh Wiggins replacing the injured Gordon for GWR while Boro took full-back Toby Barlow off, to be replaced by Reece Hewitt. Hewitt had a strong start, making two telling interceptions to in his own box to assist his defence.
Hewitt then broke the deadlock on 50 minutes as he found acres of room on the Boro left flank, and struck a powerful drive, beating Seaden at his near post to really put ‘the cat amongst the pidgeons’ for the home side. Wakering responded almost immediately though midfielder Lewis Jaggs and Johnson both blazed wide. GWR skipper Pethers was unusally replaced on the hour, by Brandy Makhendi as the armband passed to consistent full-back Jason Ring. Barnwell had ‘one of those days’ for the hosts as his drive smashed against a post at that point. It was looking like the hosts would struggle to convert their chances before Wiggins put Rovers level on 66 minutes with a cool side-footed finish past Aldridge in a crowded 18-yard area. Minutes later, Rush was well-denied by Aldridge who spread himself well to deny a clear shot at goal.
With 19 minutes remaining, Rovers talisman Johnson’s effort was denied by ‘keeper Aldridge, Barnwell followed up with a effort of his own which would’ve gone in, though a brillant goal-line interception by Boro centre-back Danny Cossington denied the luckless forward. Barnwell had two further oppurtunities to break his mini-hoodoo though to his credit, he did keep running and working hard for his team. Wakering’s pressure in the last half-hour finally bore fruit with eight minutes left as a good cross by the enthusiastic forward Rush found Billy Johnson at the back stick who had a simple header from point-blank range.
Wakering held form to get only their second win in their last nine matches while Boro have won one in their last 14 games now as they remain in the drop zone. Centre-back Marc Gorbell led the stand–out performances for the home side with a committed display, with Rush, Gordon and Barnwell also proving influential, even if on another day the latter could have had a hat-trick. Still, you’ve got to put the hard yards in and that also applies to Boro skipper Cossington who must have made four or five superb interceptions today, a credit to his side’s defensive showing. Substitute Reece Hewitt also shone in what was a rare beacon of light in an otherwise forgettable attacking display which boss Paul Martin will want his side to improve on.
Full-Time: Great Wakering 2 – 1 Romford
Finally, thank you to GWR for their welcome & hospitality and also was a pleasure to meet the legend that is Boro boss Paul Martin. Wish both sides well in their respective battles to stay in the division.
Great Wakering Rovers | Manager: Gary Kimble
Harry Seaden (GK), Jason Ring, Eljay Worrell, Ollie Woodhouse, Marc Gorbell, Scott Pethers (Capt) (Brandy Makhendi 62′), Jake Gordon (Joshua Wiggins 46′), Lewis Jaggs, Matt Rush (Simon Glover 90′), Shomari Barnwell, Billy Johnson
Goal-scorer: Joshua Wiggins [66′], Billy Johnson [82′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Bradford, Hawes (GK)
Romford | Manager: Paul Martin
Harry Aldridge (GK), Nathaniel Joseph, Toby Barlow (Reece Hewitt 46′), Danny Nesbitt, Ayo Olukoga (Khadean Campbell 70′), Danny Cossington (Capt), Chris Taylor, Malaki Toussaint, Nick Reynolds (Roddy Lemba 78′), Ridwan Hussein, Alfie Cleal
Goal-scorer: Reece Hewitt [50′]
Booked: Nesbitt | Subs Not Used: Fisher, Scammell (GK)