|Date||Saturday 19 September 2015|
|Match||Petersfield Town v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
|Royston Scorers||Scott Bridges, McDevitt, Robins(2)|
After a two week competitive lay off the south travelling Crows put in a superb all round team performance to secure three points that saw them extend their league winning run to four games and rise to sixth in the table.
Match day preparation was good as the players made the longish journey arriving very early to ensure no traffic problems and on a warm and sunny afternoon looked raring to go at the kick-off.
New signing Danny May made his debut at right back with Gus Scott-Morriss shifting to left back, Jack Bradshaw and Liam McDevitt anchored the back line, the Bridges brothers were in midfield accompanied by the impressive Ryan Towner leaving the lively trio of Ryan Ingrey, Rob Mason and Rhys Hoenes upfront.
Chris Watters was on compassionate leave today with the arrival of a new baby! Congratulations!
The pitch was particularly hard and bobbly but the Crows set about their business with Steve Castle demanding fast and urgent ball movement and restarts from numerous early free-kicks bringing Hoenes and Ingrey into play as quick as possible. Half chances abounded with Hoenes shooting straight at the keeper and Mason tussling well with his equally committed marker.
It was all Royston though with a good mix of ground play coupled with more measured longer channel finding passes that constantly forced the Rams back into head down defending. Scoring was opened on 24 minutes as May put over a good diagonal ball from right back and Scott Bridges rose to challenge keeper Anthony Ender and as the ball fell loose he was able to prod in at the second attempt. 0-1.
An aerial one/two between Ingrey and Mason nearly worked and a scintillating run from Ingrey led to a fizzing shot just over. Royston doubled their lead on 33 minutes as a Stuart Bridges free kick was delivered dangerously for McDevitt to rise at the front edge of the six yard box and deflect the ball more off of his neck/back – but enough to wrong foot the advancing keeper to land in the far side of the goal. 0-2.
Ryan Ingrey was subbed off feeling unwell with Luke Robins donning his match shirt much earlier than he possibly expected and looked fresh and eager immediately.
It was the 39th minute when Petersfield first challenged their visitors’ net but Ron Yates watched comfortably as Ryan Woodford’s free-kick was shot wide of his left hand post.
Half Time 0-2 to the Crows.
Second half and Royston were out early looking to continue their domination of this match and duly obliged with further high tempo pressing football combined with a good mix of patient and probing passing. An early Hoenes cross was headed goal-ward by Mason and tipped over well by Ender but no corner awarded and Mason followed this up with a strong run and left foot shot again just over.
Mason’s impressive work rate in the second half was high-lighted on 53 minutes when some superb close control, creatively off the pitch to ensure no bobble, set up the arriving Robins for a well placed left foot finish low in the bottom left hand corner. 0-3.
The game boiled up a bit as home side frustration was evident and the Crows’ midfield trio raised their own resilience competently and soaked up all that was thrown at them and this spat of aggression from the previously meek Rams was dealt with ably and the Crows continued with their own dominant game plan.
A double substitution on the hour mark saw Josh Castiglione replace Hoenes and George Powell come on at centre back and Bradshaw shift across for May.
The increasingly lively Mason smashed a shot against the bar with the keeper beaten and on 66 minutes a well worked team move completed the scoring. Good possession play built up for the ball to passed cross field for Jack Bradshaw to deliver a perfect near post waist high cross for Robins to run onto and side foot volley home athletically just inside the upright. 0-4.
With the game won and the heat playing its part the game played out with Royston comfortable and pleased with their afternoon’s endeavours.
Team: Yates, May (Powell), Scott-Morriss, Bradshaw, McDevitt, Bridges Scott, Bridges Stuart, Towner, Hoenes (Castiglione), Ingrey (Robins), Mason. Subs not used – Ryan.