|Date||Tuesday 12 August 2014|
|Match||Royston Town v Bedworth United|
|Competition||Southern League: Central Division One|
Spirits were notably high at Garden Walk following a good performance and result on Saturday against the usually competitive Rugby Town and the visit of Bedworth United – off the back of their own victory on Saturday – gave the Crows an excellent opportunity to cement the foundations for a positive season.
In a high tempo match of visible effort from the home team it was the visitors who deservedly returned to Warwickshire with three well-earned points.
It was the Crows who edged the domination of the first part of the game creating three good early chances for Gary Hart to score. Firstly skewing a snap-shot over, then flicking a header that was saved from a good ball in from Nick Azzopardi and possibly the best chance with a one on one with the Greenback’s keeper with Denim Hinds smothering well.
It was the visitors that took the lead on 15 minutes when Azzopardi missed a challenge, but his defensive counterpart Lewis Endacott certainly didn’t, upending Aaron Bains with a rash lunging tackle and Danny Dubitat struck home the resulting penalty low to Paul Bastock’s right.
Royston continued to produce some good link up play and Hart brought another fine save from Hinds with a dipping shot that the keeper tipped over. It was becoming more apparent that the Crows were lacking in the final third, missing strikers Rob Mason and Craig Hammond with injury and suspension respectively, and despite good approach work from a hard-working midfield and some impressive hold up and lay off play from Hart the cutting edge just wasn’t there.
On the half hour Bastock produced a good tip over save of his own and from the resulting corner a shot was fired over following some frantic, but effective defending.
Royston drew level with a beautifully delivered Kaan Fehmi free kick from wide left causing the Greenbacks problems and the ball eluded most with the final touch coming from an unfortunate defender – under pressure from Jack Bradshaw – before nestling in Hinds’ bottom left corner.
Just before half time Chris Watters had a great chance to give the home side the lead with a strong run through only to get an unfortunate bobble just before he pulled the trigger.
No interval changes seen and the momentum of the game was still high – but a bit more fragmented – as the Crows continued their speedy pass and movement creating forward impetus with play breaking down regularly in the attacking sector of the pitch and shots on goal visibly lacking.
The visitors re-took the lead on 57 minutes with a gift when Bastock put his defenders under pressure with a poor roll out and could only watch prostrate as Azzopardi was dispossessed and the ball was side-footed in easily by Alex Naughton.
The Crows continued to press but the high balls in were being easily snaffled by Hinds and Steve Castle made two changes on 65 minutes with Ross Collins replacing Azzopardi and Ryan Ingrey swapping for Fehmi. These changes were rewarded four minutes later with a third goal from Bedworth with another defensive mix up not dealing with a cross ball in and despite Bastock blocking the initial effort well, Bains smashed it in from two yards.
No-one could deny the Crows effort and determination to get back into this match but the visitors defended well and using every opportunity to run down the clock repelled all of Royston’s ever increasingly desperate attempts to find an elusive goal.
In Castle’s post match interview he referred to an early reality check and bemoaned the quality in the final third highlighting the absence of Mason and Hammond. Northwood away on Saturday – soundly beaten 5-0 by Kettering tonight – gives the Crows a good opportunity to get immediately back on track.
Team: Bastock, Azzopardi (Collins), Bradshaw, Endacott, Wharton, Bridges Scott, Bridges Stuart, Fehmi (Ingrey), Lockett, Hart, Watters. Subs not used – Mentis, Edwards, Nightingale.