|Date||Saturday 18 October 2014|
|Match||Potters Bar Town v Royston Town|
|Competition||FA Trophy Preliminary Round|
|Royston Scorers||Lockett, Scott Bridges|
Fellow Southern League Central Division Potter Bar Town have had a decent start to the season in the League and have been holding mainly a top five spot since day one. Royston Town knew they were in for a competitive tussle today in their first showing in this seasons FA Trophy.
In a classic cup tie of two differing halves the Crows were poor in the first half but rallied strongly in the second period to even the scores and in the last ten minutes were the only team who looked like taking the win on the day.
With certain injuries being protected, Steve Castle once again gave cup match starts to Ryan Ingrey and Reece Dobson and the Crow’s enviable squad again looked able to cope with the trials and tribulations of normal season issues – at least on paper.
A scrappy high paced start to the match ensued and the Crows were opened up far too easily when a missed tackle let the Scholars break up the left and a swift square pass saw in form striker, James Ewington, well placed for a relatively simple side foot finish.
With more care on the ball being needed by the visitors the home team enjoyed the better chances with a dangerous corner only just being dealt with and the Crows defence working hard to limit shots on Dominic Russo’s goal to a minimum. Despite this they couldn’t do anything about the Scholars second goal as Joe Bennett hit an unstoppable 30 yard drive past the diving Russo.
With Castle urging his team to “get hold of the ball” a better period of Crows play forced two corners and the second was delivered perfectly by Chris Watters and the visiting supporters saw a rare thing of beauty, a headed goal from the superb Ryan Lockett, arriving late and solidly converting the inviting cross.
This was an important time for Royston to claw their way back into this match and despite Jack Bradshaw being called upon to clear the ball off of his goal-line following some good possession play from their hosts the Crows could consider themselves back in this cup-tie, despite the disappointing start and the half time break came with the score at 2-1.
With no immediate changes seen the Crows did seem reinvigorated and early chances on the home goal were created. Kaan Fehmi replaced Reece Dobson eight minutes in and immediate had an impact setting the tireless Ingrey on a wide run and his pass to Lockett brought another half chance.
A loud penalty shout from the visitors was ignored by the out of position referee but undeterred the resurgent Crows continued to probe and prod with more purpose – but being caught offside too many times in their eagerness to get forward.
The equaliser came from a similar modus operandi as another quality Watters’ corner was this time met by Scott Bridges making a fine diagonal run and his bullet header smashed into the net to restore parity.
Russo made a superb double save with a good block and then a flying tip over to deny the Scholars in their last real foray forward.
Man of the match was awarded to Ryan Lockett for his important goal and his all round work rate but notable mentions for the non stop effort from Ryan Ingrey and to young left back Kane Adams who had another impressive match.
Ten minutes to go and the hosts were hanging on and the Crows could smell blood and forged more decent chances to take the win in this exciting cup-tie – but resolute and sometimes desperate defending from the Scholars saw them hold on and were certainly more pleased to hear the final whistle than their tails-up visitors.
The replay will take place on Tuesday 21st at Garden Walk.