|Date||Tuesday 12 March 2013|
|Match||Fleet Town v Royston Town
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One|
|Attendance||58 (16 from Royston)|
|Crows MoM||Jack Bradshaw|
Dominant Royston Draw A Blank
By Jez Izod
A totally dominant Royston display failed to yield a goal as the Crows drew a blank for only the second time this season in bitterly cold Hampshire.
The Crows attacked from the off with some neat passing play that attempted to break down the hosts.
On 5 minutes the ever hard working Ryan Ingrey won a lost ball on the edge of the area, he then found the lurking Lockett but was quickly closed down by the ultra impressive Ryan Pryce.
Brilliant interplay between Lewis Endacott, Carl Edwards and Luke Robbins allowed the tricky winger to dance into the opposition area, his fizzing cross eluded everyone and the home side were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief.
With the clock hitting 17 minutes, the Crows were turning the screw on their opponents with Robins causing all sorts of problems in the home area.
More excellent hold up play by Ingrey released the rampant Robins, only for his shot to whizz past the post.
Fleet had their first opportunity of the game on 27 minutes when Pat Cox launched a long ball into the Crows defence, this was picked up by Jack White but he was very quickly smothered by Will Norris.
With the right flank looking the most productive, Endacott tee-ed up Lockett, who ghosted past his marker only for his cross to beat everyone.
Royston thought they had the lead on 27 minutes when a terrific shot by Wilson rattled the woodwork much to the dismay of the considerable away support.
The Crows pressed forward and Spencer tried the spectacular from long range, unfortunately it had the air of an England Rugby kick and sailed harmlessly towards the corner flag.
With half time approaching the best chance arrived. Wilson beat three man and scampered down the left, his pin point cross was met by a glancing, diving header by Ingrey, but the effort went millimetres wide.
The second period saw Royston continue their march towards a goal. A move started by Spencer saw his pass fall to Ingrey, his snap shot was superbly saved by Pryce.
The Crows were then awarded a free kick from 40 yards out. De La Salle stepped forward and his rasping effort was magnificently tipped over by Pryce, a save Gordon Banks would have been proud of.
On the hour mark the busy Bradshaw spotted the run of Ingrey and fed the Royston 9, Ingrey then powered through the centre of the Fleet defence, passed to Lockett but again the superb Pryce produced yet another stunning save to deny the Crows.
Royston continued on and an effort from Robins produced yet another crucial save from the home stopper.
On 70 minutes a little complacency crept into the away side, with the normally reliable De La Salle losing composure on the ball allowing Nick Hutchins to scamper away down the left flank, his run was brought to an end by a wonderful tackle by Bradshaw who was stamping his authority on this game.
Manager Attfield then made a change, bringing on Matt Standen for Carl Edwards and immediately the substitute found the marauding Bradshaw on the edge of the area, the defender skipped through the defence, beating two men and his ferocious shot was saved by Pryce.
Royston then had their hearts in their mouths when a very rare Fleet attack garnered a corner which was eventually cleared by Bradshaw.
With the Crows desperately seeking that winning goal, Ingrey again burst through into the Fleet area only to be blocked by Rumbold and the ball was booted out to safety.
With normal time ending, another Royston corner was launched into the home area, a Lockett shot was superbly blocked by Pryce and with the ball bouncing onto the line, Captain Gavin Miller hooked it away. There was serious concern as Ingrey lay motionless on the ground. With much relief the young striker eventually crept up and was replaced by McDevitt.
The whistle ended this contest very shortly afterwards. A much improved display from the Crows, who will be bitterly disappointed to leave with just a point. Heroic defending from the home side and a world class goal keeping display by Ryan Pryce will give Fleet much hope for the rest of the season.
Royston Town: Norris, Endacott, Wilson, Bradshaw, De La Salle, Spencer, Edwards (Standen), Collins ©, Ingrey (McDevitt), Lockett, Robins. Subs Not Used, Parr, Reynolds.