Romford welcomed Heybridge Swifts to Ship Lane on the back of three consecutive wins, and considering Heybridge’s form and league position, Boro’s were perhaps favourite heading into the tie.
However, it was the away side who created the first opportunity of the game, with only a few minutes on the clock. Striker Adam Bolle raced through on goal but was denied expertly by Romford’s Callum Chafer.
Boro then headed straight up the other end and scored from an acute angle, courtesy of recent signing David Fallah’s low cross/shot which seemed to deceive the Swifts’ goalkeeper.
Swifts soon resumed the pressure and were rewarded a few minutes later when Reece Grant put George Cole through on to slot home his 21st goal of the campaign.
On the front foot, Swifts were tirelessly trying to unpick the Boro defence, and in the 36th minute of the game took the lead through Lewis Godbold’s near post header, after Jack Cowley’s long ball was effectively flicked on by Bolle.
Eight minutes later and it was 3-1, midfielder Harry Morgan and striker Adam Yusuff combined well to earn Swifts a corner and from the resulting centre Cole’s cross was bundled over the line by Bolle.
The second half began with the Boro in the ascendency as they dominated possession.
Top goal-scorer Cheindu McKenzie then went close with a double effort, firstly, by spinning is his defender and shooting just past the near post and then by sending a powerful header narrowly wide.
Swifts looked pretty comfortable heading into injury time but after a controversial corner, Boro pulled one back via defender Ryan Mallet.
With only a few seconds remaining, Romford piled on the pressure and turned their late onslaught into an equaliser through skipper James Ishmail, after hammering home a corner from the edge of the box.
Speaking to the Romford Recorder Ishmail expressed his elation after scoring a late equaliser: “Being 3-1 down in the 93rd minute and to score a 95th-minute equaliser felt like a winner!
“As I back-peddled away when I celebrated I could see the bench were all up and the rest of the lads were sprinting over so I knew I had to brace myself for a bundle.”
Romford: Callum Chafer, Ryan Boswell, Chris Barry, Tom Potter, James Ishmail (C), Danny Cossington, Ayo Olukoga (Ryan Mallet 80), David Fallah, Chinedu McKenzie, Chris Taylor (Nick Reynolds 73), Abdeen Abdul (Jonathan Adebayo 73).