|Date||Saturday 22 August 2015|
|Match||Royston Town v Kings Langley|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
|Royston Scorers||OG, Mason|
Match day five against the visiting newly promoted Kings Langley on a hot and sticky day was to prove the day that Royston Town got their first win of the season – it was certainly needed.
To achieve the result the Management reverted to basics with a stock 4-4-2 line up and some route one tactics to get the ball forward as early as possible – foregoing some of the intricate football for a more direct channel finding approach. Jack Bradshaw was missing today – serving a one match ban – and midfielder Joe Ryan was given a start moving Stuart Bridges to the bench, Daniel Braithwaite and Gus Scott-Morriss came in for Lewis Donovan and Bradshaw respectively as full backs and Rob Mason was asked to lead the line again continuing his injury comeback.
The first twenty minutes was a tight and tense affair with both sides tetchy and nervous at the back, but lively in the final third. Royston man of the match keeper Ron Yates was called upon to make the first of two excellent first half saves on six minutes as Mitchell Weiss broke through and Yates spread himself well to make superb important block, The Crows jabbed back and a well struck free kick from Chris Watters hit the post and a nice football move linking Ryan Towner and Brathwaite for the lively Rhys Hoenes to arrive at the back post to put just wide and continued home side offensive pressure forced a series of corners culminating in the scoring breakthrough on 21 minutes. A well delivered, Hoenes won, Watter free-kick was challenged for by Royston skipper Liam McDevitt and his Kings Langley marker Callum Adebayi alike only for the unfortunate defender to make a clean header past his helpless keeper Anthony Ladyman for an own goal.
The visitors reacted well to going behind and the Royston defence, well marshalled by Liam McDevitt and George Powell, soaked up most of what Kings Langley could muster, but Yates was again called upon to make an ultimately match winning double save when challenged to defy Weiss and Gary Connolly.
The Crows were certainly the more pleased to hear the half-time whistle as Kings Langley were in the obvious ascendancy and had a ball in the net following a period of stop-start play only to see an offside flag raised.
The second half started with probably last week's home match versus Northwood on the home side's minds as we then had seen a first half 1-0 lead relinquished far too early – but not so this week as the Crows started the period with controlled defiance and young Scott-Morriss had stepped up a gear and was excellent all half. A half time substitution had seen Watters replaced by Josh Castiglione and ten minutes in Joe Ryan was swapped for Stuart Bridges.
With striker Mason being continually niggled by Danny May you could see his gaskets straining and a yellow card was received for frustrated dissent. It was Mason though who had the last laugh as he got on the end of a superb Hoenes behind the defence low cross that the ebullient front man arrived at blowing and shin-padded nicely into the gaping net on 60 minutes – he was immediately replaced before the re-start by Gary Hart.
The Crows seemed to be controlling the match well with good defensive play and lung bursting performances on this hot day by both Hoenes and Ingrey – but a good patch from Kings Langley saw Yates called into action again on 70 minutes and when it seemed the visitors were running out of ideas and that it would be a played out home clean sheet and win, on 85 minutes substitute Ollie Cox produced a 25 yard stunner that no goalkeeper would have stopped to give his side the mild aroma of a point.
Royston were understandably shaken by such a strike and some vocal disarray was apparent as the defence were internally urged to re-group and re-focus quickly and to help them in the frontline needed some experience – supplied calmly by Hart – to see out this must win game for the relieved, but worthy Crows.