6 - 0
Isuzu UK FA Vase
Saturday January 14, 2023, 2:30 pm
Isuzu UK FA Vase
Romford have had a turbulent and nomadic history. First formed in 1876 there have been numerous highs and lows, re-formations and ground moves. The first club reached the F.A. Cup Quarter-Finals in 1881 and a later version were F.A. Amateur Cup runners-up in 1949 in front of 100,000 when the final was first played at Wembley.
Over ambitious development of their Brooklands home led to that club folding in 1978. Re-formed in 1992 they are now ground sharing at Barking, the 17th ground that the club have played at.
In 1992 they joined the Essex Senior League before gaining promotion to Isthmian League Division 2 in 1996 and then Division 1 a year later. The reverse path was trodden with successive relegations in 2001 and 2002. They regained Isthmian status in 2009 and survived there for a decade before a disastrous season in 2021-22 which saw them use over 70 players and concede 154 league and cup goals.
Back in the Essex Senior League this season they lie 14th, a place below Athletic Newham whom we met in the previous round. Their league record is 7-3-6 31-30 but their best efforts have been reserved for the F.A. Cup and F.A. Vase. In the former they won through four rounds, including defeating our pre-season opponents, Hashtag United. They eventually lost in the 3rd Qualifying Round to Essex rivals, Chelmsford City.
In the F.A. Vase they have won five matches – home v Potton United 1-0, home v West Essex 3-2, away v Newmarket Town 4-3, home v Little Oakley 2-0 and away v Whittlesey Athletic 3-1.
Jersey made four changes to their team from their drawn match against league leaders Abbey Rangers last week. Frank Tobin was back allowing captain James Queree to resume centre back duties. Kamen Nafkha, making his first appearance since late October, and Adam Trotter re-appeared in midfield, and Sammy Henia-Kamau was played up front to good effect.
The displaced four, Sammy Sutcliffe, Ben Le Rougetel, Miguel Carvalho and Jake Prince were all on the bench alongside new signing, veteran Luke Watson, Joe Kilshaw and substitute goalkeeper Pierce Roche.
Romford made two changes to the team that won 2-1 at Sawbridgeworth Town last week. Kris Newby replaced Ryan Scott, and Tambeson Eyong swapped roles with Jake Gordon with the latter now on the bench.
On a showery day (11C), with a strong wind (F4) from the North-West, Romford opted to change ends and so Jersey kicked off attacking the Robin Hood End.
Early on there was as much off the ball action, as on it, with Romford’s experienced Tambeson Eyong and skipper Adalberto Pinto were appearing to be targeting Tobin and Nafkha. Ironically the first caution went to Trotter who caught Eyong’s ankle. The subsequent free-kick was cleared for a corner after which the Jersey team pursued the referee asking him to look at the bite mark left on Tobin’s shoulder by Eyong after a “Luis Suarez” incident.
After 18 minutes Francis Lekimamati cut in from the right and went down on the byline but the penalty appeal was waved away. A minute later a thirty-yard Jonny Le Quesne shot was parried by Matt Cafer diving to his right. Lorne Bickley went for the rebound but was bundled over from behind by Eyong as he shot, which led to him missing the target on the right, but again the penalty appeals fell on deaf ears.
Lekimamati and Cafer both needed treatment after the ‘keeper clattered into the forward as they both went for a loose bouncing ball. Le Quesne joined Trotter in the notebook when he caught Scott Doe as Doe pumped the ball forward from just inside his own half.
On 26 minutes Nafkha played in Bickley on the left. He burst forward, held off Bleron Ademi and from the byline played the ball between Eyong and Doe to the far post to the waiting Lekimamati eight yards out. Lekimamati carefully placed his shot to the bottom right corner but Cafer correctly gambled on that and did very well to fling himself across to his left and beat the ball away to safety.
Two minutes later Luke Campbell became the third Jersey player to have his name taken after he caught Tom Richardson’s ankle. Campbell was clearly not impressed as he thought he had won the ball.
The crowd’s ire at the seemingly one-sided decision making was ratcheted up further when Jay Giles was also cautioned five minutes before half-time. Romford had broken away after a Jersey corner but when Giles caught up with Camilo Restrepo and slid the ball away from him the referee unfortunately saw it differently.
In the last minute of “normal” time in the half Le Quesne on the edge of the box seized upon a weak clearing header. He struck his volley well but Doe had read the situation and flung himself sacrificially into its path as Cafer might have struggled to have stopped it.
The interval arrived goalless with Jersey feeling frustrated both in terms of chances missed and cautions received.
The opening quarter of an hour of the second half saw matters change dramatically.
Henia-Kamau had an optimistic penalty call declined before Eyong was cautioned for a studs up tackle on Nafkha. Another Eyong error led to the deadlock being broken.
Eyong played the ball out of defence on the right towards Lewis Smith, Giles anticipated it and intercepted, then won the tackle with Eyong for the loose ball. It ran to Trotter who threaded a precise pass between Pinto and the recovering Smith to Bickley left of centre. The striker shot just before Doe could get to him and found the bottom left corner past Cafer’s right hand.
Four minutes later Trotter picked up a loose ball in his own half and found Bickley with a first-time pass. Bickley fed Henia-Kamau on his left and he advanced in to the penalty area, sidestepped Eyong and curled the ball around Doe and Cafer into the bottom right corner.
Just before the hour Henia-Kamau looked to have spurned an easier chance than the one he scored from. A long punt forward from Euan Van der Vliet was missed by Bickley and it appeared that a first-time left footed shot was all that required from the youngster. But he let it run, the angle became difficult and when he passed it back to Le Quesne he was crowded out by the defence.
Play reverted to the Jersey end and at this point Romford made a double substitution with Jake Gordon replacing Smith and Alex Balisani coming on for Kris Newby.
Whilst awaiting the ensuing goal kick Eyong just beyond the centre circle and not near any home player reportedly shouted out “mucking maggot” or something equally alliterative once you amend the initial letters of the words. Not very clever at any time and particularly not when the referee is a mere dozen yards away. The latter promptly produced a red card for the homophobic slur and Eyong trudged off to the dressing room with his manager saying after the match that he would never play for the club again.
Jersey brought on Joe Kilshaw for Nafkha and two minutes later Trotter dispossessed Pinto in midfield, fed Henia-Kamau on the left and he set up Bickley in the left channel who blasted over as Doe closed in on him.
The third goal was not long in coming though. Trotter once again won the ball in midfield and he fed Henia-Kamau down the right channel. He swivelled “on a sixpence” and passed inside to the “underlapping” Lekimamati who lifted the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards.
Again the goals came in pairs. For the fourth Trotter headed on to Le Quesne and from twenty-yards out he passed left to Henia-Kamau who this time did hit an early left foot shot, before Doe could get to him, and found the bottom right corner.
Romford introduced Warren Beattie for Restrepo and at the same time Jersey replaced Lekimamati with the tiny tormentor that is Miguel Carvalho. A marvellous diagonal through ball from the halfway line by Trotter set up Henia-Kamau for his hat-trick but Cafer got down well to block the shot and a defender hooked the loose ball out for a corner.
With seven minutes left Jersey withdrew Trotter who had had a hand in every goal and brought on veteran Luke Watson whom they had just signed in the week to put some more steel in the midfield.
Remarkably Watson scored with his first touch. A long crossfield ball from the half way line by Le Quesne found Carvalho wide on the right. He cut inside before turning left-back Danny Hurford one way and then the other before passing across the face of the goal to Watson a couple of yards out at the far post. He was not yet finished for the afternoon.
From the kick-off Romford funnelled the ball back to Doe. Bickley closed him down and Doe passed to Cox, Watson closed him down and Cox passed to Bleron Ademi. He was robbed by Henia-Kamau who sped on and curled the ball into the top right corner for Jersey’s sixth goal and made him the club’s youngest hat-trick scorer at 17 years, 31 days. Carvalho, another 17-year-old, had only held the record for two and a half months.
Jersey Bulls 6 (Lorne Bickley 49, Sammy Henia-Kamau 53, 71 & 85, Francis Lekimamati 67, Luke Watson 84); Romford 0
Attendance – 621
Programme – 24pp £2
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Frank Tobin (wore 12), Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Luke Campbell, Kamen Nafkha, Francis Lekimamati, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley (wore 16), Jonny Le Quesne, Sammy Henia-Kamau
Substitutes – 14. Jake Prince (not used), 15. Luke Watson (for Trotter 83), 17. Miguel Carvalho (for Lekimamati 73), 18. Joe Kilshaw (for Nafkha 63), 21. Sammy Sutcliffe (not used), 22. Pierce Roche (not used), 23. Ben Le Rougetel (not used)
Red/White/Red; GK All Yellow
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Steve Martin (Physio.)
Romford – Matt Cafer, Bleron Ademi, Danny Hurford, Kris Newby, Tambeson Eyong, Scott Doe, Lewis Smith, Adalberto Pinto (c), Tom Richardson, George Cox, Camilo Restrepo
Substitutes – 12. Jacob Wiggins (not used), 14. Jake Gordon (for Smith 60), 15. Jack Glenister (not used), 16. Warren Beattie (for Restrepo 73), 17. Alex Balisani (for Newby 60), 21. Jake Anderson (sub GK) (not used), only six substitutes
All Royal Blue, Gold trim to shirts & shorts; GK All Orange (socks bright orange)
Steve Butterworth (Manager), Dan Spinks (Assistant), Josh Wiggins (Coach), Victoria Omadeli (Physio.)
Jersey Bulls (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 12-4-5-3; 6; 7-10-8-11; 16
Romford (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 2-5-6-3; 4; 7-8-10-11; 9
Referee – Referee – Jordan B. McRitchie (Fareham) A 23-year-old Level 3 official who has worked his way up through the Hampshire and Wessex Leagues and is now in his second season with the Isthmian League. He also refereed our previous round v Athletic Newham.
Assistants – Nigel Baker (Barnham, near Bognor Regis) on the dug-out side. A specialist assistant referee. He was also appointed to the Athletic Newham tie but was unable to accept it.
Darren Cooley (Waterlooville, near Portsmouth) on the grandstand side. Now with the Wessex League, having re-located from Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.
Fourth Official – Harry Walker (Jersey) Fourth officials are appointed from this round on and promising local official Harry Walker earnt his first national appointment from the F.A.
Cautions – Adam Trotter (JB) 14, Jonny Le Quesne (JB) 24, Luke Campbell (JB) 28, Jay Giles (JB) 40, Tam Eyong (R) 47
Dismissal – Tam Eyong (R) 61 (straight red)
Corners – Jersey Bulls (1) 3, Romford (1) 2
Player of the Match Award – Sammy Henia-Kamau