|Date||Saturday 20 August 2011|
|Match||Hullbridge Sports v Royston Town
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division|
|Royston Scorers||Young, Beck, Malins,
|Man of Match||Ricky Young|
Royston progressed to the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup and are given a tie at Ryman North Division side Romford after three second half goals saw off the challenge of Hullbridge Sports on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Paul Attfield was without a number of players for the tie with Martin Standen, John McGrandles and Tom Whitaker all injured and Matt Standen and Rhys Lawrence away on holiday. Once again a strong squad of 15 players made the trip to deepest Essex showing the depth in the Royston side this season.
After the positivity of the opening two league victories Royston largely controlled the entirety of the match but with the hosts offering little in attack The Crows were to rue a lot of technical frustrations in the first half where their attacking impetus was often let down with a lack of quality on the ball. That said they did get into a number of promising positions at regular intervals in the half but on a whole lacked the cutting edge that has been seen just lately.
The hard bobbly pitch and driving rain was a possible factor to the fluency of the game but as the half wore on it became a genuine concern. Long range efforts from Ryan Lockett and Ricky Young both tested the goalkeeper but in the box little was created despite a number of crosses from open and set plays. One decent ball in from Ashley Grinham created a decent chance for Young but his close range volley was smashed straight at the keeper and scrambled clear.
Just before half time Lockett broke the offside trap but was let down by his first touch and the danger was cleared.
With Hullbridge doing so little to affect the scoreline they were given a lifeline just before half time when Jack Bradshaw was adjudged to have fouled the host's winger just inside the area with the resulting kick giving Jorden Gibson no chance to the top left hand corner.
Despite the goal and half time deficit it was obvious that a step up in quality from the visitors would cause problems and the half time interval was good respite for the side as they returned with great vigour and a different gear of pace and quality that completely overwhelmed their opponents.
In the first minute a free kick was not cleared and Jack Bradshaw sent an angled 15 yard volley against the top of the post. This was a sign of things to follow as just a few minutes later a purposeful run from Kaan Fehmi into the area saw him skip past two players and pull the ball back for Ricky Young to convert from six yards.
The woodwork came into action again twice in the next ten minutes with efforts from Young and Ryan Lockett striking different posts before the lead was taken on 60 minutes when Jason Beck rose unchallenged to power in a header from ten yards from Ryan Lockett's corner.
The sun came out to greet the goal and with the Hullbridge side lacking the belief and quality to get back into the game it was a relatively comfortable half for The Crow's defensive unit and goalkeeper who was largely a spectator.
Further chances and half chances were created and squandered but the quality of Royston's game was far more extensive to that in the first half. The final scoreline was deservedly added to with ten minutes remaining when Tom Malins raced onto a long ball and lobbed the keeper before volleying into a empty net from ten yards. This goal secured the victory and a tie to step 4 non league opposition in two weeks time.
Paul Attfield commented: " Our attacking game lacked spark and imagination in the first half and we genuinely found it tough to get any sort of rhythm in our game. This was compounded further by the award of a harsh penalty and then you are fearing the worst. The second half was completely different. We pressed the opposition very well all over the pitch and moved the ball much quicker and just those two elements made it comfortable for us in the end and we could of quite easily added three or four more goals. We must remember how we have won our opening games and enforce those qualities shown at the start of every game."
Team: Gibson, Endacott, Grinham (A Fehmi), Bradshaw, Beck, Collins, Edwards, Malins, K Fehmi (O’Brien), Lockett, Young Unused : Howard, Cain