|Date||Saturday 2 April 2016|
|Match||Bedford Town v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
Royston Town relinquished top spot far too easily with a nervous and directionless display against mid table Bedford Town, in front of an Eagles’ crowd of 222, swelled by a pleasing significant following of Crow’s away support, who did not see anything like the best from their below par team.
With close rivals around the Crows all making up ground, the only plus points today was another clean sheet and extending the unbeaten run to 11 games – the over-riding problem today was the lack of quality and tentative finishing in front of goal.
The first period of the match was patchy at best with aerial ping pong being the game of choice with countless wind-assisted balls being fed diagonally up in the direction of Simon Thomas who worked hard to hold up or flick on the ball, but the runners off of Thomas were behind the pace and when in play were simply marshalled.
Steve Castle’s frustration in his team manifested itself early with a pointless distracting fracas with the home bench.
The Crows persisted with their so far fruitless game plan winning free-kicks in semi dangerous areas and corners from defended attempts – but no real efforts on target were seen. Rhys Hoenes dipped in and out of this game throughout and when engaged was a possible outlet – but far too infrequently.
Second half and the tetchy scrappiness continued. Castle made changes on 60 minutes removing Ryan Ingrey and Tommy Hull and replacing them with Martell Powell and Daniel Brathwaite to hopefully reinvigorate his stagnating attack force. It didn’t seem to work as all space finding outlets that were previously being created by Ingrey were replaced by a lot deeper sitting Powell leaving Thomas even more isolated.
Jack Bradshaw had a good shot well saved and Hoenes blasted a half chance into the side netting as the Crows did their best to turn up the pressure.
Again the Eagles dealt with all the Crows could throw at them and two late crosses manufactured by Chris Watters were not met with the required conviction to finish.
Hoenes had a great chance to steal the three points on 90 minutes breaking through centrally but Enol Ordonez-Suarez in the Bedford goal got half contact with his desperate charge out miss-kick just outside his box and this was enough to thwart this gilt edged late opportunity.
So Royston take a solitary point from this nervous pressure-induced stalemate and will have to be considerably better in game management, more confident across the pitch and definitely more incisive in front of goal on Tuesday night, away at fellow promotion hopefuls Egham Town.
Team: Yates, May, Watters, Bridges, Hull (Brathwaite), Frater, Bradshaw, Towner (Scott-Morriss), Thomas, Ingrey (Powell), Hoenes. Subs not used – McDevitt, Castiglione.