|Date||Tuesday 1 January 2013|
|Match||Royston Town v Barton Rovers
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One|
|Royston Scorers||Malins, Ingrey, Bradshaw(pen)
|Crows MoM||Carl Edwards|
Clinical Crows Beat Battling Barton
By Jez Izod
A super second half performance by the Crows continues the march towards a second successive promotion.
A scrappy opening 45 minutes saw both sides try, but an opening just could not be found. Straight from the kick off, the visitors' tactics were clear, hoof and hope football on a tricky pitch.
On six minutes, excellent interplay between Tommy Malins and Kaan Fehmi saw a shot from the Royston number 7 saved expertly by Richard Wilmot in the Rovers goal. Two minutes later saw a dazzling run from Robins and his resultant shot just fizzed past the right hand upright.
The pressure was on Barton and on 12 minutes the impressive Malins beat four players before finding the unmarked Carl Edwards in the Barton area, his shot was blocked and Barton launched an immediate counter attack with former Crow Bobby Dance leading the charge. Dance by name and Dance by nature as the Barton number 10 tumbled in the area akin to a dying swan. No dive and a free kick was awarded to the Rovers on the edge of the area. This was swept in by Andre Maltay but retrieved superbly by Luke Howard, however his resultant kick bounced off Jermaine Hall to allow the Barton striker a chance on goal. This was hammered wide of the target.
The pattern of the game followed with Royston giving away silly free kicks and Barton failing to take advantage with several shots missed that would not have looked out of place on a rugby field,
As the clock hit the half hour mark Johnny McNamara burst through the Crows midfield and as he reached the area, fell theatrically as if hit by a London bus and with Barton appealing for an undeserved penalty, the referee issued a corner. The corner was whizzed in by Hoenes and Tommy Hull the Barton captain, headed just over the bar.
Not to be outdone by his Barton comrades, Hoenes completed a tuck and triple roll dive on 32 minutes, again the referee was not to be fooled and frustration began to creep into the Barton play with Royston pressing forward at every opportunity.
Royston signalled their intent straight from the second half kick off with Ingrey twice going just wide within 4 minutes and Fehmi striking the post from an almost impossible angle.
Barton had no response to the overlap skill of Royston and only Hoenes and McNamara showed any creativity for the away side.
With Royston pressing forward and using their wing play to maximum effectiveness, on 64 minutes, Lee Wilson scampered down the left, created his own space and with pin point accuracy found the unmarked Malins who coolly headed home to wild celebration from the home fans.
Shortly afterwards Ryan Lockett replaced Luke Robins and he immediately tormented the away side with some clever runs and accurate passing. Lockett was instrumental in the Crows second goal, after some clever movement his cross found Malins and his deflected cross gave the Crows another corner. From this set piece Ryan Ingrey struck home with most of his body still on the floor.
The Rovers attack did not offer much until the 87th minute when pin ball in the Royston defence caused panic with Luke Howard superbly blocking a goal bound shot from Hoenes and the resulting rebound was cleared off the line by Sam Spencer.
As the game petered out with Royston in total ascendancy, Ross Collins burst into the Barton area and was cynically fouled by Paul Andrews. Jack Bradshaw stepped up to take the penalty and slammed it past Wilmot to give Royston a three goal cushion.
A fantastic second half performance from the entire team secured three points for the Crows and left their fans drooling at the possibility of trips to Cambridge City, Weymouth and Bishop's Stortford next season.
Team: Howard, Bradshaw, Wilson, De La Salle, McDevitt, Edwards, Collins, Malins, Fehmi (Spencer), Ingrey, Robins (Lockett). Unused Subs: Endacott, Parr, Standen