Here are your weekly match reports from Isthmian League North Division matches covered by WDSportz.
Romford 2-3 Coggeshall Town
Glenn Tamplin’s first game at the helm of Romford ended in defeat despite a rocket of an opening goal by Phil Roberts.
Receiving the ball from a throw-in, Roberts shrugged off a weak challenge and cannoned a left-footed volley into the far corner of the net from the touch line - a real goal of the season contender.
Some last-ditch defending prevented Roberts doubling his tally after a square ball was played within the box before the visitors hit back. After a number of corners, some clever play on the edge of the box by Cocklin created the chance for Ross Wall to score with a low strike into the corner.
Coggeshall took the lead as Brampton Tyler headed home from a wayward punch by the Romford goalkeeper following a great cross by Wall. It did not take long for Coggeshall to extend their lead with a goal by Tevan Allen just before half-time.
The skipper showed great desire in the middle of the park to create the chance for Wall to shoot, before following up the goalkeeper’s parry and firing home from a tight angle - 3-1.
However, the game was far from over and a wayward goal kick and quick throw-in allowed Romford to halve the deficit. Freddy Moncur was most alert to the loose ball and saw his strike from the edge of the area deflected in.
Coggeshall looked the more threatening of the sides in the closing stages as they looked to restore their cushion, but the match ended 3-2.
Romford were delighted to host their largest crowd in 19 years, at 524, while this new era promises to be an exciting one as the signings continue to flock to the Brentwood Centre Arena.
Up next for Romford, who are currently bottom of the North Division, is a trip to mid-table Dereham Town.
Meanwhile, fourth-place Coggeshall face 13th place Soham Town Rangers on Saturday.
Aveley 5-1 Soham Town Rangers
Aveley put Soham Town Rangers to the sword at Parkside on Saturday afternoon, with Alex Akrofi scoring a hat-trick.
A lively opening to the match saw Aveley goalkeeper David Hughes tested on multiple occasions, but the home side grew into the first half and began to test Pope in the other goal.
The opening goal came on 28 minutes as Pope’s clearance deflected straight to George Sykes who showed great awareness to pull the ball back for Akrofi to fire home from the edge of the area.
It took only four minutes for Aveley to double their lead as Jason Raad showed poacher’s instincts to poke home at the back post after Akrofi’s initial effort was saved.
Early in the second-half, Sykes - who was at the centre of everything for the home side - added his name to the score sheet after placing the ball past Pope on the break.
However, Soham Town weren’t going down without a fight and a nice move saw Sam Mulready score after a cross from the left.
However, this reprieve was short lived as Akrofi scored again, this time after poking home straight from Hughes’ goal kick - a rare assist for the man in-between the sticks.
Akrofi won and converted a penalty to complete his hat-trick, sending Pope the wrong way from the spot to add his team’s fifth.
It could have been more for Aveley on the day, with James Goode denied by a terrific fingertip save by Josh Pope and Raad almost scoring with a curling effort.
The result leaves Aveley in fifth ahead of FA Trophy action at the weekend and a fixture with a struggling Basildon on Tuesday 26th. Meanwhile, Soham are in 13th and face Tilbury next.
Josh O’Brien is one of our sports journalists. He currently studies a multimedia sports journalism degree at the UCFB Wembley campus. His previous roles include writing for You are my Arsenal blog, The Sun’s Dream Team app and betting company Kwiff.