|Date||Saturday 19th August 2017|
|Match||Gosport Borough v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evostik League South: Premier Division|
|Royston Scorers||Castiglione, Brathwaite, Ingrey|
Resilient Royston dug deep and returned home from Hampshire with 3 crucial points against a poor Gosport side.
From the off, Royston showed their intention with a marauding run by Scott Bridges that caused panic in the home area only for James Potton to drill just wide. A minute later and a poor back pass by Harry Medway allowed the impressive Castiglione to pick his pocket only for Lewis Watch to make a brave save at his feet.
Some wasteful finishing by Lee Chappell, whose shot on 7 minutes went closer to Portsmouth than the Gosport goal allowed the home side to slowly grow into the game culminating with the lively Max Smith providing a cross of pin point accuracy that fell kindly to Alex Przespolewski whose shot was superbly saved by Joe Welch.
Disaster struck on 13 minutes after Scott Bridges committed a poor foul on Declan McCarthy and from the resulting free kick Ousman Siady was given the freedom of Privett Park to head in the opening goal.
If this was to be a catalyst for Royston to roll over, it did not happen with the Crows pushing at every opportunity and they were soon level on 18 minutes when Castiglione floated a header into the Gosport goal.
The Crows sensed that Gosport were there for the taking with runs from Ives and Castiglione being well checked by a rigid home side.
It was now that the referee was coming to the fore with some contentious decisions being made against both sides, this culminated in a straight red card for Royston’s Sam Corcoran for an off the ball incident that was greeted with derision by the travelling support.
Gosport now sensed that this was their opportunity to gain a victory as Jamie Grainger surged forward only to see his wayward shot fly over the ground. Matt Buse guilty of some poor finishing as the home side sought to press their man advantage. This nearly came to fruition on the stroke of half time after a clever move involving Mitford, Smith and Saidy saw the latters shot well saved by Welch.
Half time saw John Frendo replaced by Mat Nolan and what ever was said at the break paid off as two minutes into the half a sublime corner from Castiglione was met by Braithwaite who leapt like a salmon to head the ball into the back of the net.
Royston were not resting on their laurels and continued to probe with Asafu-Adjaye providing a superb ball into the area, only for Nolan to lose his footing and the ball went tamely wide.
The Referee continued to be a thorn in this game with some questionable decisions going against Scott Bridges who was felled like a lumberjack by Buse and also on Ives who was pushed in view of the man in the middle by Prezespolewski. This led to the battered Ives being replaced by Ryan Ingrey on 55 minutes.
Still Royston pressed on with a shot by Castiglione going wide on 59 minutes and gain 3 minutes later in which Watch saved bravely at his feet. With several opportunities missed by Royston as the game progressed, you could only wonder if this was going bite them and on 70 minutes, totally against the run of play Max Smith foraged down the left running off 3 challenges from the Royston defence and crossed for Liam Kimber to smash home giving Welch no chance.
The game as a contest started to peter out, as the impression was both sides were happy with the point.
Step forward Ryan Ingrey who had other ideas, a minute after an atrocious decision was given against him by the referee, Ingrey sought revenge in the best possible way as he burst into area and his shot bounced over the unfortunate Watch and nestled into the corner, cue wild celebrations from the ecstatic away hordes.
This completely deflated the home side and Royston played out a well-deserved win.
Overall, an excellent team performance from the 10 men who never stopped believing that they could win this contest. They will be up against some much better sides this season, however this performance should give hope and confidence for a successful maiden season at this level.
Welch, Asafu-Adjaye, Chappell, Scott Bridges Â©, Braithwaite, Stu Bridges, Ives (Ingrey), Corcoran (sent off), Frendo (Nolan), Potton, Castglione (Scott-Morris)