|Date||Tuesday 15 March 2011|
|Match||Oxhey Jets v Royston Town|
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division|
|Royston Scorers||Standen (Martin), Lamacraft|
|Man of Match||Lewis Endacott|
The Crows travelled to Oxhey Jets for a Tuesday night fixture looking to improve on their previous below par league performance at St Margaretsbury. Oxhey hadn’t won in their previous five league outings and Royston can be seen to have done well in these recent potentially tricky mid-week away games and were keen to keep this going. The mist was moving in but the pitch looked in excellent condition for good football. Manager Paul Attfield handed winger Paul Klein a first team debut following some impressive displays with the reserves as the pressure grew on a first team squad depleted by injuries and suspensions.
The match started with some good passing and movement from Royston but with no real end product and the first chance on goal came after fifteen minutes with the impressive Martin Standen winning the ball strongly and threading a great pass through for Ryan Lockett to run onto and shoot only to see his right foot effort go by the post.
The Jets had a period of reasonable pressure that was soaked up by the Crows’ defence and with the combination of some organised Royston defending and some wasted efforts from the Oxhey forwards the game remained scoreless. Royston stepped up the pace with Paul Klein getting into the match and a good move between Klein and Ricky Young saw a good effort saved. The scoring was opened in the 39th minute following a great move with full back Jack Bradshaw finding Ross Collins with a pin-point pass for Collins to lay it off for Standen with a deft flick for the midfielder to power home with a low shot to the far corner for 1-0 to the away team. Bradshaw was shown a yellow card despite his tackle being nothing but hard and fair and the well contested first half came to an end.
The Crows retook the pitch with substitute Bobby Dance on for Klein. On 52 minutes Oxhey brought it back level following a corner where the Royston marking was poor and despite Jorden Gibson’s best efforts to keep them out the ball rebounded to Anthony Shepherd who powered the ball into the net for 1-1. The next twenty minutes was all Royston as they toiled to create good chances on goal with efforts from Young, Dance and Lockett all being well saved by the Jets’ keeper Sam Styles. On 65 minutes Lockett limped off with hamstring problems to add to the injury list and Glen Lamacraft took his place. This period of sustained pressure led to Royston regaining the lead. On 70 minutes a great effort on goal by Bradshaw was matched with an equally good save by Styles with the fullback’s low accurate drive being deflected round the post. The resulting corner was sent over by skipper Collins to be met by a thumping header from John McGrandles with Styles again making a fine one handed stop, only to see the loose ball followed up by Lamacraft to knock it home.
With Attfield urging his players to move the ball quicker the Crows were eager to add to the score-line. Gibson kept his team ahead producing his own impressive one handed save following a good block tackle by McGrandles that fell to the Jets striker who hit it first time. In the second minute of injury time Bradshaw was awarded his second yellow card of the game for an innocuous incident and was sent off to add to Attfield’s future selection dilemmas. This entertaining game finished at 1-2 to the Crows. Lewis Endacott was awarded the man of the match for his solid performance at centre-back.
Team: Gibson, Bradshaw, Apostolos, McGrandles, Endacott, Martin Standen, Edwards, Collins (Capt), Young, Lockett (Lamacraft), Klein (Dance). Sub not used Cain.