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Without manager Paul Martin in the dugout, Romford were beaten 5-2 at the weekend by Redbridge in the Ryman One North to end an extremely poor month for the club.

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The five matches Boro played resulted in five defeats and then it was compounded on Thursday when Martin found out he had received a five match touchline ban for an incident relating to a league fixture earlier in the season against Cheshunt.

Martin was “gobsmacked” to be handed a five match stadium ban for aggressive behaviour, despite being cleared of attempting to headbutt and punch a referee during the Ryman One North fixture on September 21.

“I am gobsmacked to be honest. I can’t believe I have been punished,” he said.

“I went down to Wembley and won my appeal but they couldn’t let me off without anything so I have been given a five match ground ban.

“The accusation was for an incident that happened when Abs Seymour had been on the end of a bad challenge against Cheshunt.

“I had to go on the pitch to help Abs off and the referee has said I attempted to headbutt and punch him.

The accusations by the officials led to Martin and five others attending a meeting at Wembley last week to clear his name, which he did, but his joy was shortlived as he was handed a lengthy ban.

Assistant manager Mark Lord took the reins on Saturday and Martin is confident he’ll do a fine job.

“Take nothing away though, I left Lordy to do the job and he is more than capable,” he added.

Redbridge took the lead in the 11th minute when Romford failed to clear from a corner but they responded five minutes later through Robbie Norris.

The hosts added two more before the break, although Boro’s Eddie Hart missed a great chance with the score at 2-1.

Martin believes the blame can’t lie with the forwards though, adding: “We are creating chances but not scoring, but we can’t just blame the forwards.

“You can’t keep pointing the finger at individuals, the defence and midfield can’t be conceding five goals.

“You can’t expect the forwards to score five every week. In my mind if they score once they have done their job.”

Redbridge had a man sent off at the start of the second half and Lord brought on forward Nick Reynolds for defender Scott Truman to good effect.

Reynolds pulled one back to make it 3-2 but the host scored twice inside the final 10 minutes to add some gloss to the scoreline.

Martin is staying positive though and conceded that the league is certainly stronger this season.

He said: “Redbridge went down to ten men and you have to go gung-ho and Lordy has thrown on another forward, we have got it back to 3-2.

“You can say the scoreline flattered them but on paper it is a 5-2 defeat. We have just got to stay positive. We are only missing two players in our squad that finished 8th last season, so it shows that the league is stronger this season.”

To read Martin’s full reaction to the ban, pick up Friday’s Romford Recorder.

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