Chinedu McKenzie struck a hat-trick as ten-man Romford knocked Horsham out of the FA Trophy at Gorings Mead this afternoon.
It was a miserable afternoon for the Hornets who crashed to a 3-1 defeat in the first qualifying round despite playing the whole of the second half with an extra-man.
The Ryman League North side, nicknamed Borough, led 2-0 at half-time despite having Tarren Dehariwel sent off in the closing stages of the half for a last-man tackle on Liam MacDevitt.
In an error-strewn showing, the Hornets gifted Romford and McKenzie a third early in the second half and, although Dan Sackman pulled one back on 60 minutes, the East London visitors held strong.
A dismal day was made worse by the fact striker Terry Dodd was stretchered off in the first half with suspected knee ligament damage with an ambulance called.
The home side stroked the ball around well from the off, but it was Romford that had the first chance as Jamie Dicks’ low free-kick was deflected just wide by Asher Modesto.
It was the visitors asking all the questions from then on in and McKenzie forced a save from Josh Pelling as he raced onto a flick on and from the resulting corner the same man put Romford ahead.
Pelling tipped a header against the crossbar and saved a follow-up effort, before McKenzie nodded just over the line, which was adjudged over the line despite a desperate hook away.
Dodd then went down on the edge of the opposition box and was caught as he tried to switch the ball onto his left foot.
A lengthy stoppage ensued as the striker was carried off with a leg brace on and was replaced by Tony Nwachukwu.
Horsham’s misery was compounded five minutes later as McKenzie lashed a half-volley into the top corner as it bounced to him outside the box from Farmer’s clearance.
Shortly after, the visitors’ captain Jamie Dicks crashed a long-range effort off the corner of the bar and post as they looked to capitalise on their dominance.
In a rare Horsham attack, Charlie Farmer glanced a header just wide at the far post from a Steve Metcalf cross.
Five minutes before the break a missed header from George Branford presented the ball to Ayeodeji Olukonga at the back of the area, but Pelling stood up to save with his legs.
After an improved Horsham spell before the break, the visitors were reduced to ten men as Liam MacDevitt knocked the ball ahead of Dhariwel from a Nwachukwu pass and the left-back clipped his heels as he bore down on goal just outside the box.
Scott Kirkwood replaced Branford at half-time and he soon tested Callum Cafer, but the stopper was equal to his free-kick that looked destined for the top-left corner.
At the other end on 51 minutes, Scott Harris gave away the ball in his own half and McKenzie paced forwards and dispatched high into the net for his hat-trick.
Pelling then beat away another Dicks free-kick, before Horsham pulled one back on the hour mark.
A low Lee Carney free-kick was touched by Farmer in the box and Dan Sackman lashed home into the roof of the net.
Despite Horsham pushing, the Romford defence stood strong as a MacDevitt effort from close range was saved after a free-kick on 79 minutes as a result of Cafer carrying the ball out of his area from a drop kick.
On 90 minutes, a Nwachukwu header was cleared off the line and the follow-up cleared as Romford held out.
Their prize is a place in Monday’s second qualifying round and prize money of £2,700.
Horsham: Pelling, Farmer, Sackman, Jones, Metcalf, Lawley, Branford (Kirkwood 45), Carney, Harris (Eze 71), MacDevitt, Dodd (Nwachukwu 19). Unused subs: Gill, Chadwick.
Romford: Cafer, Boswell, Dhariwel, Adebayo, Mallet, Olukoga, Dicks, McKenzie (Ishmail 70), Modesto (Reynolds 80), Green, Toms. Unused subs: Portway, Bankole, Wray.
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