|Date||Saturday 29 December 2012|
|Match||Chalfont St Peter v Royston Town
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One|
|Royston Scorers||Fehmi (pen), Robins
|Crows MoM||Tom Malins|
The players of Royston Town showed tremendous strength of character, picking themselves up from a disappointing Boxing Day performance and result to put together a display of dogged determination and total will to win to get a 2-1 away victory against a resilient Chalfont St Peter side.
It was wet and breezy and whilst the pitch was heavy in patches, it was in no way waterlogged and the game was deemed playable by the match referee and stood as one of only two played games in the division.
With the floodlights on from the start it was the Crows that started the brighter with Kaan Fehmi putting the ball in the net after 2 minutes only to see the goal ruled out for offside and Carl Edwards found himself in a good position and his left foot snap-shot was deflected wide.
The weather and slippery pitch conditions was taking the edge of the quality of both sides' play and a Royston defence mix up saw Liam McDevitt clear a Chalfont shot off of the line – this week with his foot, not his hand. A few unbalanced tackles from both sides were bringing free-kicks and this didn’t help the general flow of the game.
The deadlock was broken in the 24th minute when the tricky Luke Robins surged forward and was clumsily brought down with the referee awarding a spot-kick which Fehmi dispatched confidently to give the visitors the lead. Chalfont responded well and goalkeeper Luke Howard, deputising for the injured Will Norris, make an excellent block save from 5 yards after the ball broke loose in the penalty area and the home side kept the pressure on the Crows in a spirited ten minute period in which the Royston back line stood strong, defending bravely and resolutely. The lead was doubled six minutes before half-time with a great goal – Fehmi linked well with flying winger Tommy Malins who sent over a perfectly weighted cross to see Robins arrive to strike a superb airborne volley from 12 yards high into the Chalfont net to take a 2-0 lead into half-time.
Royston opened up the second half creating two good chances to extend their lead only to see themselves pegged back ten minutes in when a tricky run by a Chalfont player was allowed to continue only to see him eventually fouled in the box to give the home side a penalty kick which Adam Louth converted low left. Chalfont were in the ascendancy and their endeavour brought a few half chances on the visitor’s goal and the game sat in the balance.
The home side’s cause was not helped in the 68th minute when Louth saw a straight red card for what the referee deemed a dangerous tackle on the hard working Ryan Ingrey. Despite being down to ten men the home side continued to threaten the Royston goal and with the Crows defending deep and looking to counter attack with swift breaks with both Fehmi and Malins looking lively and dangerous but despite creating good opportunities, they couldn’t add to their team’s lead, with the best effort being a firmly hit shot from Robins that was superbly saved by the home team’s keeper. Howard tipped a Chalfont free-kick onto the post and the game finished with Royston determinedly holding onto all three points.
Team: Howard, Bradshaw, Wilson (Parr-70), McDevitt, De La Salle, Edwards, Collins (c), Malins, Ingrey, Fehmi (Standen-90), Robins (Lockett-90).
Subs not used – Endacott, Reynolds.