|Date||Tuesday 24 February 2015|
|Match||Royston Town v Godalming Town|
|Competition||Evo-Stik Southern League: Division One Central|
|Royston Scorers||Ingrey, Bradshaw|
Royston Town used up more than one of their “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards rescuing an unlikely looking point in a frantic and exciting 8 minutes of second-half added time in which they scored twice to the dismay of their visitors whom left Garden Walk understandably aggrieved at the referee’s time-keeping.
This hard earned point meant Royston leap-frogged non-playing Barton Rovers into 6th place and with fifth placed Hanwell Town losing at home to lowly Leighton Town – the whole top seven concertinaed again.
Steve Castle’s starting line-up was again changed from Saturday’s away win as the two young loanees from Leyton Orient were unavailable, Conor Kilgallon was recalled to left back and Ryan Lockett got a start. The bench was short in numbers with youngsters George Powell, George Boot and debutant Gus Scott-Morriss, counterbalanced by the vastly experienced Gary Hart.
In a fragmented first half the Crows visibly struggled on the sticky surface compared to their more mobile opponents, who seemed more able to adapt and Royston were caught out with two well worked moves that scythed open the scrabbling home defence and the at times apoplectic Castle’s dishevelled side had no real answers in this first half.
On 16 minutes, Kilgallon was exposed and a low cross was delivered for The G’s skipper Antonio Simeone to competently shoot low into Ron Yates’ left hand bottom corner.
Royston huffed and puffed and shallowly probed, but caused no real threat until Chris Watters had a snap shot blocked and Ryan Wharton’s glancing header from the resulting corner was cleared off the line on 27 minutes.
Despite sporadic and thwarted home team efforts Royston were undone easily again as on 37 minutes, following a strong shout for a penalty as Ryan Ingrey was bludgeoned in the box, the ball was fed forward quickly and the Crows were on the back foot and chasing as another low shot – this time from George Frith – was deposited clinically by the diving, but helpless, Yates.
The first half finished with some good inter-play between Kilgallon and Kaan Fehmi and the cross ball was headed goal-ward, but feebly, by Ingrey and was easily dealt with.
A half time change saw Lockett replaced by Hart and the hurting Crows were sent back out on the pitch early with no doubt an unimpressed Castle’s instructions ringing in their ears.
The second half saw the visitors try and sit on their advantage, spoiling fouls continually committed, ongoing time wasting tactics being encouraged from the side-line almost beckoning their hosts to bring the game to them hoping to catch them on the break to seal the away win.
Ten minutes in and the three points were almost gift-wrapped and handed over as a shocking back pass was fed straight to a G’s attacker but big Ron Yates did good work closing down quickly and safely, forcing the attack away and the gilt edged match winning chance was wasted.
There was no doubting that the Crows desire and will to get back in this game was evident – their final pass and cheaply conceded frustrated fouls were letting them down at times, but the action was mainly either in midfield or in the Godalming penalty area. With Liam McDevitt constantly encouraging, the Royston juggernaut gained momentum and better all round play was evident but still with either poor final pass, spoiling G’s fouling and few move ending on target shots was seen.
Castle replaced both full backs by introducing George Boot for Ryan Wharton and then new boy Gus Scott-Morriss for Conor Kilgallon and this injection of energy and possibly gung-ho, now or never approach galvanised the resurgent Crows and both Boot and Scott-Morriss were impressive and instrumental in the turnaround we were about to witness.
It did look like no white and black goals would be seen tonight but with the visitors baying for the full time whistle as it hit 90 minutes it was clear there would be some added time and the valiant Crows were not for giving in.
Ryan Ingrey, lung bursting and legs aching, somehow found some energy to chase down another loose ball and this time he found the guile as well. Trickily surging into the box, feigning a quick shot but shifting sideways with G’s keeper Richard Ossa prone stabbed the ball home with 90 plus 4 on the clock, cueing the customary minor wrestling match for the ball for a swift restart.
A minute later with McDevitt bellowing, Watters blowing, youngsters surging and Big Dave Theobald up for scraps it looked like the veteran defender would seize the day as the ball fell to him in almost slow motion but Theo blasted a great chance over from 8 yards. Was this the last chance? – No – Stuart Bridges took control and drove centrally and directly towards goal but he was fouled callously in desperation two yards outside the box and the free-kick was lined up.
Step forward ice cool Jack Bradshaw – knowing it was the last kick of the game with 90 plus 8 on the clock, Bradshaw unleashed a right footed peach of a free kick, screaming round the bedraggled wall, curling slightly away from the statuesque Ossa and bulging the net head height – then following a split second of realisation the team and crowd got their just desserts for their bloody-minded refusal to lay down. It was superb stuff to rescue a point.
Team: Yates, Wharton (Boot), Kilgallon (Scott-Morris), Bradshaw, Theobald, McDevitt, Lockett (Hart), Bridges Scott, Fehmi, Watters, Ingrey.
Subs not used – Powell.