|Date||Saturday 30 March 2013|
|Match||Godalming Town v Royston Town
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One|
|Attendance||190 (27 from Royston)|
|Crows MoM||Lee Wilson|
Royston done by the Three “G’s” – by Jez Izod
Three moments of defensive madness cost the Crows dearly on a freezing cold day in deepest darkest Surrey.
The home side showed their intentions from the off with a throw in finding Adam Foulser but his shot was saved by Luke Howard in the Royston goal.
A minute later and Godalming nearly had the lead after a cross from Darren Wheeler was poorly punched by Howard and with the dangerous Scott Harris lurking, Joe De La Salle’s quick thinking prevented an opening disaster.
Still the G’s pressed forward with Warren Harris and Johnnie Dyer stretching the Crows defence to the limit. On 12 minutes Ross Collins slid into Dyer to earn his 11th booking of the season.
As the quarter of the hour mark approached, Wilson slipped in the area which allowed Wheeler the opportunity to open the scoring, luckily for the Crows, Howard was brave and dived at the winger’s feet.
Wheeler was determined to make his mark on the game and a rasping shot on 20 minutes was superbly saved by Howard.
Then came the five minutes of mayhem and madness. Firstly on 23 minutes, Wheeler scampered down the left wing, his pin point cross evaded every Crows defender to allow the unmarked Dyer a simple tap home. With the Crows still reeling, Wheeler again was the instigator and saw Howard off his line and lobbed the young stopper from distance. A world class goal from a world class performance.
Two minutes later and it should have been three, after a free kick was poorly punched away by Howard and the ball fell to Wheeler who shot just wide.
A minute later and three it was after terrible defending and poor communication left Dyer with an easy close range shot to give the home side an unassailable lead.
The G’s sensed a goal fest and pressed forward at every opportunity and on 34 minutes nearly made it four after suicidal defending presented Scott Harris with a perfect opportunity, luckily for the Crows his effort was soft and saved by Howard.
On 35 minutes saw the Crow’s best opportunity of the match as the returning Craig Hammond sprinted through the middle and his powerful shot brought an initial save from Somerville, Ryan Lockett was a little to slow on the rebound and the home stopper had a comfortable save to make.
A minute later saw the very impressive Wheeler withdrawn after a crunching tackle from Bradshaw which earnt the Royston player a booking.
More poor communication between De La Salle and Howard presented Harris with an opportunity to lob the Royston Keeper, however his effort went just wide.
With Royston Town totally out gunned and outplayed the half time whistle could not come soon enough to allow the Crows to regroup.
Manager Paul Attfield made one change at the break with Carl Edwards replacing the cautioned Collins and the midfield maestro attempted a Crows comeback single handedly. A never give up attitude saw Edwards win the ball on the half way line and found the lurking Lockett, however his cross was far too short for Craig Hammond.
On 56 minutes, the influential Hammond set up Robins on the edge of the area but his effort went harmlessly over the cross bar.
Godalming seemed to be content with their advantage and must have had an eye on their Bank Holiday Derby Day contest with Guildford City as they offered very little more going forward. The game petered out and Royston pressed forward for a consolation goal that their performance did not merit.
On 72 minutes, the Crows were presented with a free kick on the edge of the area but De La Salle’s effort sailed closer to Portsmouth than the home net.
The G’s had an excellent opportunity to extend their lead five minutes from time with a shot from Short was superbly palmed away by Howard.
A terrible first half defensive performance cost the Crows dearly against a side that surely will be crowned Champions at the end of the season. Royston will need to bounce back quickly in their own Derby special against Biggleswade Town, before facing fellow play-off contenders Slough on the 6th April.
Royston Town: Howard, Bradshaw, De La Salle, McDevitt, Wilson, Collins © (Edwards), Ingrey (Parr), Standen, Hammond, Lockett, Robins (Beck). Subs Not Used: Endacott, Malins