||Saturday 2 February 2013
||Royston Town v Burnham
||Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One
||Joe De La Salle
Royston Feel The Blues
By Jez Izod
A dramatic late late leveller from Burnham’s goalkeeper broke Royston hearts in a scrappy, bad tempered affair on a tricky Garden Walk Pitch.
Burnham attacked from the off, showing no signs of ring rustiness at having not played since the 12th January. A move started by Will Hendry found James Dobson on the right wing and his powerful shot was headed clear by Jack Bradshaw. A moment later some masterful defending by Tom Malins prevented the prolific Ryan Bird from taking a shot.
Royston did not heed these warnings and a shot from Tom Willment whizzed just over the Royston bar.
The Blues had the wind up them and continued plying pressure on the Royston defence with James Dobson testing Damian Williamson, the parried shot fell to Bird but Joe De La Salle picked his pocket and cleared for a very relieved Royston defence.
Controversy reigned on 7 minutes when Tom Badderley collapsed to the floor as if felled by Frank Bruno special. The referee was wise to this and allowed play to continue.
Royston slowly came into the game and on 13 minutes an excellent free-kick from Lee Wilson found Kaan Fehmi lurking on the edge of the area and his wonderful cross was met by Malins who headed in a fabulous goal.
With Royston trying to play their passing game, Ole’s rang out from the Royston crowd and were only broken when the earlier villain of the peace Badderley intercepted a dangerous through ball by Carl Edwards.
The 21st minute saw blind panic in the Royston box after a poor clearance from Lewis Endacott found Ashley Smith looking a menace in the area, his threat was snuffed out by the excellent De La Salle. The following corner saw pin ball in the area and Hendry’s shot was bravely deflected by De La Salle.
The rest of the half saw Burnham press forward at every opportunity and they nearly took the lead 4 minutes from the break when a shot from Dobson was calmly saved by Williamson.
Frustration from the away side set in and Dan Willment was extremely fortunate to stay on the pitch after kicking out at Ryan Ingrey.
The second half saw Royston very nearly extending their lead with a clever move from Fehmi and his pass found Wilson who blazed over from 15 yards taking out a spectator behind the goal.
10 minutes into the second half and Tom Badderley who was fortunate not to be booked in the first period did not escape the intentions of the referee after scything down Ingrey on the edge of the box. The resultant free kick was superbly palmed away by Michael Watkins in the Burnham goal.
Just after the hour mark, the Burnham stopper proved to be the saviour again when De La Salle’s close range shot brought a fantastic reaction save.
The match descended into ugliness when Will Hendry lashed out at Fehmi causing “afters” from the Royston number 9.
This was followed by a horrible challenge on Ingrey from Dan Willment on 75 minutes and the Burnham player surprisingly escaped a booking. 4 minutes later the same two players were involved in another ugly confrontation, this time though, the referee had no other option but to place Willments’ name in his little black book.
With full time closing in, Burnham were reduced to 10 minutes after Tom Badderley deliberately tripped Fehmi on the very edge of the area. The Burnham number 5 was halfway up the tunnel as the referee produced the red card.
Royston fans were preparing to celebrate a hard fought win when a poor clearance from the Crows gave Burnham a corner.
The home side did not notice that the Blues had brought everyone up, including the Goal keeper and he was left totally unmarked to head home an equaliser to produce wild celebrations from the away bench and total dejection from the home side.
There was not enough time left for Royston to grab a dramatic late winner.
Overall a hardworking point but naivety cost the Crows an important win. Royston need to bounce back quickly, starting with a home game on Tuesday against Thatcham Town.
After the game Jez Izod interviewed the Burnham Manager, Martin Stone:
JI: Congratulations on that late equaliser and a point can you give me some thoughts on the game?
MS: I thought it was a terrible game of football to watch on a very boggy pitch. Both teams cancelled each other out and I feel that the result overall was a fair reflection.
JI: What did you think of your team’s performance?
MS: We were poor, our front two were very poor today especially as Ryan is so prolific. Your number 5 did an excellent job keeping him quiet. We did have an excellent chance to score a couple of minutes from time from Ryan and we had to rely on our goalkeeper to show them how it’s done.
JI: The pitch did not help things what are your thoughts on that?
MS: No it did not help as a spectacle, but it was a leveller for both teams. Your pitch is very boggy and was heavily sanded in places that you can’t play football.
JI: The referee had a huge part in this, what are your thoughts?
MS: There should have been a booking for Royston in the opening couple of minutes, but all the bookings were justified and we have no complaints with the sending off.
JI: What about your thoughts on Royston Town?
MS: Royston are an excellent footballing side. Excellent up front and solid at the back. This was a very good result for us, we knew what to expect and I am delighted with the point. Over the two games we have played, the two draws are a fair reflection. Royston will be up there at the end of the season and we may meet again this year.
Royston Town: Williamson, Endacott, Wilson, De La Salle, Bradshaw ©, Spencer, Edwards, Malins, Fehmi, Lockett, Ingrey. Subs Not Used: Collins, Parr, Robins, McDevitt, O’Brien.