|Date||Saturday 17 December 2016|
|Match||Royston Town v Ashford Town (Middx)|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
|Royston Scorers||Scott Bridges, Frendo(2), Orlando-Young(2)|
Royston Town returned to league action today after their exciting FA Trophy exploits had come to an end and set about getting back to the club’s priority of promotion.
There was a bit of a Trophy hangover seen today as the Crows started both halves sluggishly and despite creating half chances early on in the game, the unconverted openings were punished with the Tangerines taking an 7th minute lead as some sloppy defending brought a low shot from Mark Bitmead and the ball nestled all to easily in the bottom corner of stand in keeper Haydn Dodge’s goal. 0-1.
Rod Orlando-Young, making his home debut, impressed from the start and his tight control, running and delivery was causing the visitors increasing problems and despite witnessing the overall Crow play stuttering it was clear there was attacking intent and the hit-back would come.
On 22 minutes Gus Scott-Morriss sent over a really good corner and Scott Bridges rose to power home a fine headed goal. 1-1.
From this equaliser, it was all Royston to the half time break and the impressive forward momentum was back and potent. A couple of half chances for Orlando-Young and Ryan Ingrey culminated in a second goal, this time from John Frendo on 32 minutes, when Orlando-Young found him with a good hanging cross and Frendo controlled with his chest and brought down well and slotted home a low right foot finish. 2-1.
Ten minutes later, after a big handball shout from the Royston players in the box, the referee waved play on and the ball fell perfectly for Frendo to shoot in unchallenged. 3-1.
The Crows were dominant and the crowd were believing that more goals would come in the second half.
Ashford had other ideas and set about pulling this game back. Three minutes in and Adam Murray clumsily fouled and a penalty was awarded. The spot-kick was saved easily by the diving Dodge.
An early second half substitute saw Scott-Morriss replaced by Martel Powell and Ryan Towner slotted in at right back.
The visitors were enjoying a good spell and the Crows had no real answers. Joe Green got Ashford’s second following in a Bitmead free-kick on the hour mark – 2-3 – and the same player brought the scores level on 81 minutes and Royston had seen their lead wiped out in a very poor and tired period of play. 3-3
It was backs to the wall for the Crows and Brathwaite made a brave block and Dodge did well with a sharp low save and it did seem briefly that the Tangerines may get a winner.
Cue Rod Orlando-Young to steal the show for Royston with an absolutely brilliant finish from the right hand side with a cut in and a perfectly struck 20 yard shot finding the far top corner giving Ashford’s keeper, Kavanagh Keadell, no chance whatsoever. 4-3.
The Tangerines’ hopes were dashed and the Crows finished them off with a break-away goal on 93 minutes with Ingrey unselfishly drawing the keeper and passing sideways to Orlando-Young to get his second of the game and earn the Vice-Presidents’ man of the match award. 5-3.
Team: Dodge, Scott-Morriss (Powell), May, Bridges Scott, Brathwaite, Murray (Frater), Orlando-Young, Towner, Frendo, Watkins (Fehmi), Ingrey.
Subs not used – Thomas, Bridges Stuart.