|Date||Tuesday 2 November 2015|
|Match||Cheshunt v Royston Town|
|Competition||Herts Senior Challenge Cup: 1st Round|
Steve Castle wrote in his pre-match blog that despite fielding a team that had not seen much game play recently that he did not expect “a dip in quality” as they lined up against Cheshunt FC in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup – it is clear he needs to adjust his realistic expectations as the side fielded lacked cohesion, shape and penetration and were nowhere near the levels needed in the league – collectively or individually.
It is understandable that these local cups are low on Castle’s priorities this season but there is something to be said for consistency, momentum and confidence building and this woeful performance demonstrated none of these. The prize for victory in this County Cup was possibly a juicy home tie with Stevenage FC with even Teddy Sheringham rumoured to have signed player forms for the competition – but with tonight’s sub-standard display this was never going to manifest.
Missed opportunities to score in the first half were multiple as the woodwork was struck twice and shaved twice causing more than one head in hands moment astounded that the Crows hadn’t turned the early match domination into a lead. Suitably punished for their inadequate inaccuracy, a mix up in the 29th minute allowed Cheshunt’s Adam Bolle to strike in following a poorly defended corner. 1-0.
Scott Bridges gave way to Ryan Towner at half time and the Crows came out lively and keen to get back in this cup tie. A further early second half substitution was made at the returning from illness Danny May was swapped for Erkan Okay at right back. The scores were levelled on 50 minutes as striker Rob Mason surged centrally into the box and was clumsily dragged down before he could get a shot off. Mason took the resulting penalty and made no mistake striking a firm shot past the Cheshunt goalkeeper. 1-1.
Royston made their third and final change bringing on Kaan Fehmi for Josh Castiglione and despite the visitor’s endeavour to manufacture clear cut chances on goal progress was severely hindered by poor passing, shocking ball retention and basically getting in each other’s way.
With Castle urging for a “bit more quality” that never materialised – the game was effectively won by Cheshunt on 78 minutes as a good cross was delivered and Jason Hallett had an unchallenged header that went high into Mayson Tewkesbury’s net. 2-1.
The match stretched with the Crows looking for an elusive second equaliser that did not come and their hosts finished the match off in time added on with Ayrton Coley showing good quick feet and a decent high finish. 3-1.
Team: Tewkesbury, May (Okay), Scott-Morriss, Powell, DeLaSalle, Bridges Scott (Towner), Bridges Stuart, Watters, Mason, Castiglione (Fehmi), Robins.
Subs not used – Hoenes, Fleming.