|Date||Monday 27 August 2012|
|Match||Barton Rovers v Royston Town
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One|
|Royston Scorers||Robins, O.G. , Matt Standen|
|Crows MoM||Joe De La Salle|
Another fantastic display from The Crows maintained their 100% winning start to the season with this win giving them the confidence of knowing they currently head the Evo-Stik League Southern Central Division.
In a game full of high commitment and high tempo football it was Royston who were progressively more constructive with the ball throughout the contest and were worthy winners by the full time whistle.
Luke Howard again deputised in goal for the still unwell Will Norris and Kaan Fehmi returned to the starting line up with Ryan Lockett from the team that started Saturday's FA Cup tie. Matt Standen and Rhys Lawrence dropped to the bench.
Everything was full of blood and thunder in the opening stages as tackles went in flying with both teams trying to get a stranglehold. Both teams had early shouts for penalties with a home forward racing clear and going down under Jack Bradshaw's challenge and loud shouts for a handball at the other end , both turned down by the officials.
The home side were better in opening stages with their more direct approach releasing quick forwards and Luke Howard did well on three occasions to thwart quick advances into the area. Both teams had two bookings in the opening 30 minutes as tackles were bordering the over-zealous as commitment never wavered.
But it was The Crows who gradually took control of the game with some sharp football that had the hosts encamped in their own half. Barton had not conceded a goal in three competitive games and that fact was there to be seen as Paul Attfield's side struggled to complete fine approach play in the final third and except for some over hit crosses and poorly delivered set plays they had little to show for their attractive passing game.
The second half started again with Barton on the offensive and an early shot from the edge of the area deflected past a stranded Luke Howard but fortunately the post as well but once again Royston got into their stride and looked the most likely. Ryan Ingrey headed an early chance just wide from a right wing cross as did Luke Robins from a left sided cross.
The visiting pressure paid off in the 56th minute when Kaan Fehmi's through ball found Robins who outpaced two defenders rounding the keeper and converting. Robins was then unlucky to have a double shot at goal from close range doubly blocked as another goal looked likely.
Barton made changes pushing more players forward and The Crows began to lose some fluency in terms of ball possession. Whilst their work rate never dropped they were forced on the defensive and conceded from a free kick with 15 minutes remaining.
A far post flighted ball looked ineffective but Hall rose the highest and headed back across goal and into the far corner from the corner of the six yard box.
This set up an exciting finale but once again The Crows dug deep found their qualities again and got a double strike in the last five minutes. On 86 minutes a good move down the left got behind the home defence and Lee Wilson's whipped in cross deflected off a home defender and looped over the keeper into the far corner.
Ecstatic celebrations ensued towards the former Barton Rovers skipper and respectability was put on the final scoreline from Royston's point of view when Matt Standen picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and sent a deft lob over the keeper's head and into the net.
Three wins from their first three games is an unbelievable start for The Crows with all three opening wins fully deserved. Next up is a tough fixture on Saturday though as Daventry Town, who are fancied to do well this campaign, visit Garden Walk.
Team: Howard, Endacott, Wilson, De La Salle, Bradshaw, Collins, Edwards, Lockett (Malins), Fehmi (Standen), Ingrey, Robins. Unused: Lawrence, Butler, Bronti