The Beachboys moved into the Quarter Final’s of the Essex Senior Cup last night, but were made to work hard in the first half by their opponents writes Chris Clark.
Romford were out to cause a shock against the cup-holders and it was the visitors who had the first chance in the game, when after three minutes centre forward Lee Weemes fired a shot straight at Ben McNamara. That chance seemed to liven up the home side, who then peppered the Romford goal…who coincidently had forward Nick Reynolds in goal tonight, as their normal keeper was unavailable. Reynolds did not let himself down between the sticks. Concord however could not hit the target in the opening stages…their list of close calls was as follows:
Four minutes – Cawley chips just wide from ten yards
Ten minutes – King heads against post from corner
Sixteen minutes – Greenhalgh latches onto bad back pass…pokes just wide
Twenty minutes – Cawley hits outside of post when well placed.
After this burst of pressure, Romford slowly got themselves back into the match and despite not creating any opportunities they were matching the Beachboys for effort and endeavour. Romford were pushing up the pitch and playing with a high defensive line, and that was to prove their undoing for the opening goal of the night, as Ben Greenhalgh broke the offside trap on forty-one minutes and raced towards goal….Reynolds came out, but didn’t really do anything and Greenhalgh shimmied past him and slide it home…Concord lead at the break.
Concord Rangers 1 Romford 0
The Beachboys who may well have had some strong words ringing in their ears, started off the second half in blistering fashion, as Steve Cawley doubled their lead on forty-seven minutes. Greenhalgh was the provider with a lovely flick and Cawley lashed the ball home. Concord were now battering the visitors, and were winning every fifty-fifty challenge. Romford just could not get out their half. Somehow they survived conceding a goal on forty-nine minutes when three chances came and went for the Beachboys- Greenhalgh saw a shot tipped wide, then Bantick’s shot was cleared off the line and Cawley’s shot was saved.
On the hour and Romford’s offside trap failed them again…this time Joe Gardner breached it, and like Ben in the first half rounded the keeper and slide it home. 3-0. Game up for the visitors. The Beachboys were hungry for more goals and just four minutes later, Max Cornhill starting in place of Jay Dowie headed home from a corner to make it four. Romford were wilting, and after a splendid slide rule pass by Arthur Lee, Greenhalgh got his second of the night as he side-footed past Reynolds on sixty-five minutes to make it 5-0.
Fair play to Romford they still battled and scrapped for the remainder of the game and as fans froze in the stands and the game drifted to it’s conclusion…Steve Cawley was brought down by Reynolds in the penalty area on ninety minutes. The referee showed leniency to the Romford goalkeeper and let him off scott free, and with the last kick of the game Cawley despatched the penalty to make it six.
The Beachboys move onto the quarter-finals determined to win the Essex Senior Cup for a third year running.
Concord Rangers 6 Romford 0
Team – McNamara, Hammond, Lee, King, Bailey-Dennis; Cornhill, White (c) (off 70mins Dowie), Bantick, Gardner; Greenhalgh (off 70mins Taaffe), Cawley
Subs not used – Stephen, Cox