Glenn Tamplin's Romford take the spoils from BetVictor Isthmian League North Division trip to Soham Town Rangers
Soham Town Rangers had an afternoon to forget against Glenn Tamplin’s much-talked Romford side, going down 4-1 at Julius Martin Lane.
The Greens went into the encounter as the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division’s form side – nobody could better their return of 15 points from the previous six outings.
Yet, in bottom-of-the-table Romford they were up against opposition that have started to build some momentum after a slow start to Tamplin's tenure. This was their third victory in a row, with Adam Morgan – who has played for Liverpool in the Europa League under Brendan Rodgers' management – at the forefront.
In what was a first half to forget for the hosts, it was they who had the game’s first chance in the sixth minute when Ally Conway’s low shot from the left hand side of the box drifted just wide.
Four minutes later it was Romford’s turn to go close when Ridwan Ajala robbed Soham debutant Jack Willbye inside his own box, but goalkeeper Josh Pope was quick off his line to make a stop.
Bar a scramble in the Romford area - with the ball eventually being deflected inches wide - that was it in terms of clear goalscoring chances until the away team ran riot in the final nine minutes of the half.
First Carlos Djalo-So capitalised on the Soham defence’s inability to deal with a high ball. The striker jinked one way – a dummy that wrong footed both defender Lloyd Groves and Pope – to leave himself with an empty net.
Five minutes later it was 2-0, albeit in very controversial circumstances. Morgan went down under what appeared to be minimal contact, but the referee pointed to the spot and the same player dusted himself down to convert from 12 yards out.
And within 60 seconds Romford had scored a third. It was another lofted ball that did for Soham – this time Louie Theophanous raced clear to beat Pope with a low effort.
With the wind behind them, Soham enjoyed the lion’s share of possession throughout the second half. So, when Sam Mulready volleyed home in the 61st minute after Romford had failed to clear Ryan Auger’s free-kick from deep, it seemed a grandstand finish could be in the offing.
However, it never truly materialised, even after Lheurex Menga had been sent off for two bookable offences.
Instead, it was Romford who had the final say on proceedings in the final minute of the 90. It was another Morgan penalty, awarded after he had been felled by Pope.
Despite the loss Soham remain 11th in the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division standings ahead of next weekend's trip to third-placed Tilbury.
Soham: Pope, Willbye, Watson, Clayton, Chaffey, Connor (Newman 54'), Groves, Auger, Conway, Mulready, Rogers (T Andrews 73')
* For reaction to the loss from Soham manager Robbie Mason, see Thursday's Journal print edition.