|Date||Saturday 30 November 2013|
|Match||Royston Town v Slough Town
|Competition||Calor League: Central Division One
If this was going to be the day when out-of-sorts Royston Town got their promotion challenge back on track then they were going to need a special performance against an in form Slough Town team.
Caretaker Manager Duncan Easley was once again stymied from the start with defensive headaches caused by injuries, suspensions and frustrating unavailability. His goalkeeper and back four was made up of two young loanees, keeper George Darlow and full-back Jhai Dhillon and two others, Ross Collins and Taylor Parr, playing out of position, with only Joe De La Salle shirting up in his normal centre-back position – but also coming back from a short enforced injury break.
Easley also confounded some with his omission of Carl Edwards from the starting line up as the ever reliable midfielder had been outstanding in Tuesday night’s cup win, scoring a superb goal to boot.
Up for it Slough Town scored the only goal of this niggly and highly contested match five minutes in when Warren Harris punished the Crow’s inability to clear their lines by firing home a low shot that took a slight deflection on the way to Darlow’s bottom corner.
The referee failed to deal with some full blooded and excessive challenges and this caused this already highly-charged and important match to fester unnecessarily as both midfields toiled to gain the upper hand.
The Crows created some good chances to score especially in the latter part of the first half with Luke Robins powerfully shooting just wide and also seeing a good header hit the bar and Kaan Fehmi, once again looking hungry for football, rushed a shot following a superb cross field ball by Ross Collins and the home side couldn’t convert this prolonged pressure into an equaliser that this spate of lively forward play suggested.
No home side changes at half-time and Slough came back out the more offensive, creating and being gifted good chances to put this match beyond the flailing Royston defence and only superb shot stopping by youngster George Darlow in the home team goal, first a fine and brave block, then a flying tip to cross-bar and over, prevented the score rising out of reach and kept his new team in this tight match and still in with a chance to get at least a point from this close contest, whilst Slough were smelling blood.
Easley sent on two of his three substitute options, Carl Edwards and Mitchell Bryant to replace Adie Cambridge and Antonio Murray, to keep the pressure for this elusive leveller on, but chose to keep the Crow’s three highest scorers of the season so far, bench warming much to the puzzlement of this decent sized crowd. The visitors’ determined defence stood firm and kept an impressive clean-sheet, whilst Royston’s bland industry was not enough to reap a goal and devoid of any real front end class or indeed any real football luck in front of goal.
Team: Darlow, Collins, Dhillon, DeLaSalle, Parr, Spencer, Cambridge (c) (Edwards), Lockett, Murray (Bryant), Fehmi, Robins. Subs not used – Hammond, Mason, Ingrey.