|Date||Saturday 15 February 2014|
|Match||Royston Town v Aylesbury|
|Competition||Calor League: Central Division One|
|Royston Scorers||De La Salle(2)|
||Joe De La Salle|
The weather conditions were not conducive to a pretty game of football with a strong blustery head wind and a cold hail storm – complete with fierce lightning – twenty minutes in. The pitch consequently got softer under-foot and cut up as the match went on, but it was still good to see some Saturday football being played at Garden Walk. The playing squad was noticeably lower on numbers than usual as a result of injury and un-availability, but still lined up showing good strength in depth.
In a scrappy first twenty minutes, it was good to see Craig Hammond putting himself about with the inter-changeable Luke Robins and Reece Dobson trying to get some wide movement going. The bobbling of the ball was leading to some understandably mistimed tackles that didn’t help the flow of the game but the Crows seemed to adapt quicker and the lively Dobson was fouled on the central edge of the box in the 14th minute.
This free-kick saw big Joe De La Salle step up to power home a fantastic bullet of a kick high into the net giving the Aylesbury keeper no-chance to move, let alone try and stop it.
Hammond’s running produced a cut back pass that skipper Ross Collins shot well to force a corner and a strong Dobson run and dangerous cross saw manager Steve Castle shouting for more reaction in the drop-zone. A Lewis Endacott free-kick was met my DeLaSalle’s low header that was easily dealt with and following the hail-storm Aylesbury had a free-kick of their own which was blasted high over Nick Thompson’s goal. Again top effort from Hammond kept the play at the Aylesbury end, forcing two late corners, but the half finished with just the one goal in it.
It was one of those games when you would take any positive result and get in the warm quick but the early period of play in the second half saw the Moles put in a couple of shots on the Crows goal and the visitor’s penetration was too easy as Royston were slow bringing their game out of the changing rooms. A slight re-group saw better movement and Kaan Fehmi’s looping cross/shot had to be athletically dealt with by the Aylesbury keeper and Royston began once again to exert their authority, seeking that second game deciding goal.
On the hour mark, Castle sent on Ryan Ingrey for Reece Dobson to inject new energy and this brought a Robins free-kick that evaded all defenders to clip the bottom of the post. Ten minutes later and some neat work by Endacott saw a spin and shot goal-wards that weren’t dealt with by the Moles back-line and predator De La Salle slid in from two yards to notch his and his team’s second.
Carl Edwards replaced the resurgent, but tiring, Robbie Nightingale and immediately latched onto some Ingrey endeavour to shoot long but wide and Fehmi put together an impressive tricky run on this difficult surface, evading desperate efforts to stop him, but shot over. Ingrey’s right wing cross found a leaping Hammond but again his effort went over the bar and the big striker probably should have done better in a one on one position, but his low lobbed shot was easily snaffled by the Moles’ stopper.
This was a match that the Crows dominated from start to finish and went about their business in a determined and controlled manner. Three more important points were bagged and all at Royston look forward to some important and potentially season defining matches over the coming few weeks.
Team: Thompson, Endacott, Spencer, Nightingale (Edwards), De La Salle, Bradshaw, Collins, Dobson (Ingrey), Hammond, Fehmi, Robins. Subs not used – Parr, Lawton.