Buckhurst Hill 1 Romford 2
Essex Senior League
Saturday 30th July
Buckhurst Hill made their maiden bow in the Essex Senior League, but opponents Romford, back in Step 5 following relegation from the Isthmian League, were a lot more clinical when it mattered. Emmanuel Robe was presented with a chance in each half and took them, while Fehinti Falola came off the subs bench to pull one back on 67 minutes.
It didn’t take Boro long to settle, and in the 5th minute a ball played to Robe saw the Romford striker pick his spot before slotting the ball past Daniel Blockley.
Romford didn’t rest on their laurels after scoring, tearing into the Buckhurst Hill defence with another chance coming their way when Jesse Olukulo cut in and had a low shot well saved by Blockley.
But the Stags slowly started coming into the contest, with Sonny Shilling drilling a cross, across the Boro six-yard box, while at the other end Max Nicholson had to put in a last-ditch tackle to dispossess Danny Hurford.
In the 20th minute Dylan Florence weaved his way into the box, but was then swamped out meaning he hurried his shot and fired it directly at Anderson the Boro stopper. Florence then sped into the box and had a cross turned away for a corner, which was punched clear by Anderson; but the attack continued and the Stags played another ball into the box which ended up being cut out by the keeper.
The Stags ended the half with most of the possession – but found Boro’s defence water-tight when it mattered. In the 33rd minute Shilling charged into the box but Scott Doe hooked the ball clear, and a brace of free kicks, the first taken by Tyler Dolan, the second by Florence resulted in two chances wasted as the shots ended up hitting the wall or flying over the cross bar.
Boro having applied a bit of early pressure had not really mustered much else as the half came into the final minutes. That all changed in the 46th minute when sub Jack Gordon chased a loose ball and managed to unleash a shot that was only just over. Dolan replied a minute later with a shot outside the box that flashed wide of the post.
Having been under the cosh for most of the first half, Romford then opened the second half in some style as in the 51st minute they extended their lead. Robe again found the ball at his feet and from a tight angle fired a splendid strike that sailed into the net.
But The Stags picked themselves up and Dolan was able to pick out Shilling with a cross which resulted in the Boro keeper having to dive at full-stretch to keep the ball out.
In the 67th minute Dolan again gout into a good position and rifled off a shot that struck the post, but Falola pounced on the rebound and slotted it home to pull one back.
The goal lifted the Stags, with Shilling going on a run in the 70th minute which petered out when his final ball failed to reach a Black and Blue shirt. Fehinti had a shot blocked, then Dolan had a go on the rebound – also blocked; Harris had the final bite and placed his effort narrowly wide.
Romford were made to defend deep, but in the 82nd minute they mustered a counter-attack which saw them winning a corner. From it they were able to create another chance with Martin Tuohy testing Blockley who had to tip his volley around the post.
But the Stags pushed for the equaliser as their opponents as the game entered the final five minutes. A great cross from Moore was headed wide by Fehinti, then in the final minute the Stags won a corned and from it Day had a crack and a Boro defender blocked it. Shilling was hauled down in stoppage time, and his free kick was deflected for a corner. It was to be a final chance of getting something out of the game and it so nearly resulted in an equaliser that would have heralded a well-deserved point. However Griggs’ bullet header struck the crossbar and so it was to be an opening day defeat as Romford played party poopers and ruined Buckhurst Hills’ debut ESL game.
There were many positives that can be taken from this game and The Stags certainly had most of the possession, but they were struck down by the clinical finishing of Robe.
Article By Scott Lanza
Photos Credit: David Jackman – Everything Local News (@ELNews_ on Twitter) / Everything Epping Forest (@eefnews on Twitter)
Daniel Blockley, Max Nicholson, Keaton Moore (Liam Foster 90′), Alfie Harris, Henry Day, Harry Markatis (Fehinti Falola 53′), Tyler Dolan, Josh Banfield, Dylan Florence (Louis Wynter 53′), Jake Moss, Sonny Shilling.
Scorer – Fehinti Falola (67′)
PICTURES: Buckhurst Hill 1 v Romford 2
Slideshow of 39 pictures from today’s Essex Senior League fixture at Myrak Park.