|Date||Saturday 14 January 2012|
|Match||Colney Heath v Royston Town
|Competition||Molten Spartan South Midlands Football League: Premier Division
|Royston Scorers||K. Fehmi (pen), Edwards|
|Man of Match||Jason Beck
The Crows gave a performance like no other this season and maybe at some point later in the season they may look back at this game as being a defining moment of their season.
Having to play fifty minutes of the game with ten men following the harsh sending off of keeper Will Norris and carrying a number of players due to injuries and knocks in the sending half they survived a second half onslaught each giving a monumental effort and huge desire levels to achieve some sort of result. Centre half Jason Beck had to don the gloves following Norris's dismissal and he gave a man of the match display, if sometimes unorthodox, to keep his team in the game and to add ultimate gloss to the outcome Carl Edwards popped up with a 94th Minute winner to steal all three points. In the ecstatic celebrations manager Paul Attfield was dismissed by the referee for joining in at the middle of the pitch.
Colney were on a decent run of form with just one defeat in six games with a good win at Dunstable Town with just 9 players two weeks ago. Paul Attfield tweeked his team from that which beat Oxhey Jets on Tuesday evening recalling Martin Standen and the fit again Tom Malins, Ryan Lockett and Ross Collins dropped to the bench.
The pitch was in perfect condition and The Crows shot down the slope with the first half played at a furious pace with the visitors getting on top in the first 20 minutes. Kaan Fehmi raced onto a good chipped ball forward but was let down by his touch and the danger was averted but the best chance of the half fell to Matt Standen who raced onto Tom Malin's excellent cross but blazed over the crossbar from just 6 yards.
The solid Colney Heath defensive unit was difficult to breach and such was their determination chances were few and far between. As much could be said about The Crow's defence who looked good and the hosts were limited to mere half chances that never threatened. It was however a difficult afternoon for the referee who struggled to keep control of the game with inconsistent decisions that left the game simmering on the edge throughout. A crude challenge on Lewis Endacott was unpunished with the full back having to be withdrawn and replaced by Ashley Grinham for his first run out for a couple of months.
The game really came to life in the last ten minutes of the half. First the Crows won a penalty when Kaan Fehmi did well to hold the ball in the area with three defenders in attendance, one of whom tripped him and he firmly struck the kick into the corner.
Five minutes later an angled ball from the half way line breached the Royston rear-guard with Cooper racing clear rounding Norris and going down under the challenge. Despite the ball being pushed well wide by Cooper and two defenders recovering to the six yard box the referee succumbed to vigorous home protests and sent off the young Crows custodian. Jason Beck picked up the gloves and the ball from the net as Eames scored with ease from the spot.
The Crows got to half time with no further trouble and a half time change saw Kaan Fehmi replaced by Ross Collins with Royston starting with a 3-5-1 shape. Colney went for broke with four players pushed on leaving The Crows to make another formation change to counter attack the hosts’ high pressure. The home side pummelled the visiting area with plenty of corners and excellent crosses in open play that were mostly heroically defended. Corners were the main problem with most of them causing problems. Twice The Crows scrambled from the line and twice the woodwork was struck and twice Beck somehow blocked close range efforts but the goal remained intact.
In possession of the ball Royston tried to break on occasions but couldn't quite find the quality needed in the final third. One clear chance they did have was when Luke Robins half volleyed high and wide from good space on the edge of the area. As the half wore on Robins, Bradshaw and Grinham all picked up knocks but the effort never wavered and on 94 minutes Ryan Lockett released Robins down the left and despite having a dead leg the winger got to the goal line and pulled the ball back for Carl Edwards who had all the time to shoot into the net via a deflection.
There was little time left for any Colney reaction and it's now six league wins on the bounce for Paul Attfield's side.
Team: Norris, Endacott (Grinham), Bradshaw, McGrandles, Beck, Martin Standen, Edwards, Malins (Lockett), Fehmi (Collins), Matt Standen, Robins Unused: Clemo, Young