|Date||Tuesday 29 October 2013|
|Match||Chertsey Town v Royston Town
|Competition||Calor League: Central Division One
|Royston Scorers||Ingrey, De La Salle
This midweek match was hard work from start to finish. Congestion on most major roads meant the Crows arrived late and a delayed kick-off to 8pm was agreed. This situation also possibly influenced Paul Attfield’s starting line-up and we saw Antonio Murray make his seemingly long awaited and lively debut in the number 9 shirt.
The pitch looked like it had been lightly ploughed and did not serve to help either side during this strange match with both teams trying to play some sort of football, only to be usually thwarted by bobbles or unreadable bounces.
The hosts started on the front foot with two decent early chances, firstly putting pressure on George Lawton to skew his clearance and then a move, cross and high bounce that was shot wide.
Against this early push Royston got the opening goal – on five minutes a Mitchell Bryant surging run up the left led to a good delivery and Ryan Ingrey confidently shot the ball home from mid goal 14 yards out with the home keeper, Daniel Alderton, getting a touch but couldn’t stop it.
Ingrey had a fine first half causing the Chertsey defence all sorts of problems getting on the end of numerous crosses and generally being a nuisance. Bryant forced a sharp save from Alderton with a low right foot cut back effort.
Some sloppy Royston defending brought a chance for the Curfews, but again their final shot went wide. Scrappy is the best way to describe the half as both teams battled each other and the pitch to create chances and fell short of any real quality. A rare fumble from Lawton gave the home side a half chance but his back-tracking defenders bailed him out.
A decent passing move on 35 minutes brought a corner that Adie Cambridge sent over and an Ingrey shot forced a flying tip over from the Chertsey stopper. Keeper Lawton redeemed himself with a really good, clean and brave dive at an attacker’s feet as he was just about to pull the trigger. Ingrey and Carl Edwards both had on target efforts easily caught and Royston had a strong penalty shout for handball that was waved away.
It fell to centre back Joe De La Salle on 45 minutes to double the visitors’ lead with a Cambridge free-kick not really dealt with by the Curfew’s back line and the ball made its way through to De La Salle wide left who shaped his body well to blast it back right-footed and low across the goal into the opposite internal side netting.
If the first half was described as scrappy then the second half was scrappier. It was a totally drab affair with the home side creating a series of half chances but no real full on goal scoring moments. The best effort for the visitors in the second period fell to Craig Hammond, who had replaced Murray on 65 minutes, taking on the keeper only to see his dig come back at him fast and off for a goal-kick. I think that is all I want to say about that 45 minutes of football.
The really positive note for the Crows was another three points after an extremely difficult journey, on a terrible pitch, against spirited opponents who never stopped trying to forge something for themselves. Also it was Royston Town’s fifth consecutive league clean-sheet and George Lawton and his various array of defenders over those five matches should be extremely proud of that statistic.