|Date||Saturday 9 April 2016|
|Match||Royston Town v Godalming Town|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
Royston Town’s season ending run in can only be described as a monumental stumble – dropping 8 points out of the last 9 – and looking nowhere near the team that put themselves in title winning contention and showing no sign of scoring an open play goal, despite still being the division’s highest scoring team.
The management look to have no answers for this slump in performances and the crowd were witness to the bench apoplectic with varying disparate and desperate instructions, with the only reaction from the on field team being one of increased nervousness and disarray.
The team was set up with a 4-4-2 formation with Martel Powell being given the number 10 role and Dan Brathwaite being moved to left back and Tommy Hull at centre-back alongside Ryan Frater. Ryan Ingrey was dropped to the bench and there was no place in the squad for Liam McDevitt as the returning Reece Dobson was given another reprieve by Steve Castle.
The first half was a frantic and frenetic Royston chasing game with Castle constantly hounding his players for more. The ball was thrown forward long and deep far too often and there was no sign of any ground based play that the side looked to have been initially set out for with Powell not being able to utilise his undoubted ball skills and the grateful visitors soaked all this up far too easily as an isolated Simon Thomas won sporadic ball, but neither wing runners, Rhys Hoenes or Ryan Towner, were ever close enough to utilise this rarely working outlet.
With the pace from the side-lines looking already hectic and hurried Castle bemoaned that there was “no urgency” and the slightly more defensive but composed Godalming team tried to maximise their first half moments with swift breaks from lost Royston possession.
Rhys Hoenes had a penalty claim treated with disdain on 40 minutes as he looked to have been taken down in the box and the Crows’ protest at not being awarded a spot kick were loud and long and continued vehemently into the half time break.
A half time substitution saw Ryan Ingrey replace Ryan Towner and Ingrey put in his usual display of total commitment but this could not help his team find any real scoring opportunities . A lot of effort and endeavour but no final third outlet and the engaged crowd found themselves groaning audibly as yet another move broke down.
Castle swapped Jack Bradshaw for Erkan Okay and Powell for Dobson and the latter did have a good chance to get a shot on goal as the ball was fed to him on the left but his hurried and distance shot went high over the bar.
To make matters worse the Crows suffered a killer blow on 84 minutes as Godalming took all three points with a sharp move that broke through on the left wing and Louis Hutton slotted the ball past the diving Ronnie Yates. 0-1.
The Crows have four games left and need to win all four, but also need a slip up from their opponents to put them back in title contention or as looks more likely they will be looking for promotion via the uncertain play-off route.
Team: Yates, May, Brathwaite, Frater, Hull, Bridges, Bradshaw (Okay), Towner (Ingrey), Thomas, Powell (Dobson), Hoenes.
Subs not used – Scott-Morriss, Mason.