|Date||Tuesday 4 December 2012|
|Match||Royston Town v Stevenage
|Competition||Herts Senior Challenge Cup: Second Round|
|Royston Scorers||Robins, Bradshaw
|Crows MoM||Sam Spencer|
Royston Town put in a fine display in the second round of the Herts Senior Challenge Cup against a young Stevenage side winning the tie 2-0 with goals from Luke Robins and Jack Bradshaw.
The Crows lined up against a Stevenage team that looked to be made up mainly of youth team players but set about their business in impressive style. Some good fast football played by both teams brought some early half-chances at both ends as the ball was moved quickly and accurately about the pitch. On seven minutes Luke Robins should have probably done better flicking a shot by the post from 5 yards after some persistent work by Kaan Fehmi. The lack of fouls was apparent in the first twenty minutes as the ball was being moved on before any real challenges were made and this 100 mph game seemed to suit the home team as they matched the skilful play of their visitors.
Royston took the lead on 23 minutes after Robins was fouled on the edge of the box and Fehmi put the ball in the danger area and a lack of defensive clearance left Robins free to poke home. Again the lively Robins had a good chance to increase the lead when he beat the offside trap but his cheeky lob over the keeper went just wide. The pace slowed slightly and fouls started being committed by both sides with the Crows defending resolutely, being superbly protected by Sam Spencer playing just in front of them. Another Fehmi free-kick smashed into the wall and his own shot from the rebound went just over the bar. Full back Taylor Parr hobbled off just before half-time with a calf injury and was replaced by centre-half Liam McDevitt which led to a slight re-jig of the defence.
The second half resumed with the high pace pass and move game and Fehmi had an early chance when he outpaced his marker but his shot was well blocked by the Stevenage keeper. Ross Collins put over an accurate free-kick that saw Jack Bradshaw put a shot just wide and with the game sweeping from end to end the Crows own youngster, Will Norris, made a top class full length save to keep the visitors out and his own sheet clean. Twenty minutes into the second half Royston increased their lead, again from a free-kick. Collins delivery was again very good and the excellent Joe DeLaSalle’s effort was half-blocked only for the ever alert Bradshaw to this time power into the net.
The Crows continued to create good chances on goal with Fehmi and Ryan Ingrey continuing to work hard up front and with Matt Standen replacing Tom Malins on 78 minutes they kept the high pace up with the youngsters of Stevenage well. Standen had a header tipped over and a Bradshaw run and shot was well saved and the game finished at 2-0 to Royston to progress to the next round.
This was a good game to watch and the 256 spectators who braved the chilly conditions saw a well contested, high quality, fast paced match won by an impressive overall display from the home side.
Team: Norris, Parr (McDevitt-44), Endacott, Bradshaw, De La Salle, Spencer, Collins (c), Malins (Standen-78), Fehmi, Ingrey, Robins.
Subs not used – Lockett, Butler, Edwards.