|Date||Tuesday 5 February 2013|
|Match||Royston Town v Thatcham Town
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One|
|Royston Scorers||Fehmi, Malins
|Crows MoM||Damian Williamson|
Ruthless Royston Break Thatcham Hearts
By Jez Izod
Royston were thankful for the clinical finishing from Kaan Fehmi and Tommy Malins against a spirited and youthful Thatcham side who belied their lowly league position.
Straight from the start, the on loan starlet from Reading, Karl Oliyide scampered down Royston’s left but was expertly cut out by Joe De La Salle. Immediately after this Thatcham’s intentions to exploit the wings told when Jack Coventry sprinted down the left flank but was stopped by an inspired tackle from the returning Jason Beck.
Royston retaliated with Robins collecting the ball from Charlie Hill and found Sam Spencer in acres of space, the midfielder fed Lewis Endacott and his shot at the Thatcham goal went just wide.
The Kingsfishers then went on the offensive and the tricky Oliyide was found in space but his shot was superbly saved by Damian Williamson in the Royston goal.
On the 15 minute mark, captain for the day, Sam Spencer clumsily lost the ball in the Royston area, Danilson Vicente broke clear and his goal bound shot brought a masterful save from Williamson. 2 minutes late Spencer was guilty again as his sloppy pass gave the lively Oliyide the best opportunity of the match but again he was denied by the superb Williamson and Beck tidied up the remains.
With the clock hitting 30 minutes a corner from Thatcham eluded the entire Royston defence apart from De La Salle and his clearance denied the lurking Oliyde for a certain chance.
With Royston on the back foot, the Kingfishers pressed forward and after Beck completely miss hitting a clearance the lively Oliyide pounced, as the Thatcham number 9 primed his sights to shoot, Beck made amends and produced a fantastic tackle to relieve the pressure.
Thatcham smelt blood at this time and Williamson had to be alert to save from Vicente, Hill and Oliyide as the Royston defence reeled from the Kingfishers forward play.
Just before halftime Royston produced the move of the match when Ryan Lockett burst into the Thatcham area and his pin point cross found Luke Robins alert in the area, his shot was superbly saved by Aaron Bufton.
The second half saw more of the same from Thatcham as they continued to press forward with Sam Hamilton testing the Crow’s defence but Beck was equal to the attack. Spencer then gave the ball away again allowing Coventry to attack the Royston area before he was fouled by De La Salle. The resulting free kick from Callum Willmoth just fizzed over the bar.
On 49 minutes a throw from Lewis Endacott was met precisely by the referee, his pass found Coventry but was tackled by Robins. Mr Phillips injured himself in his excellent pass and had to seek treatment from the home bench.
Spencer made amends for his earlier mistakes and a superb pass found Fehmi lurking dangerously in the Thatcham half, his shot found the net but he was surprisingly given off-side.
Royston grew in confidence and pressed for an opening goal with the excellent Endacott finding the marauding Malins on the right flank but his shot when just wide.
Thatcham though were equal to Royston and pressed forward again and as the clock hit 66 minutes Vicente powered into the home area, found Oliyide and with the goal at his mercy failed to hit the target.
On 78 minutes, Endacott sprinted down the right flank and his excellent cross was sliced just wide by Fehmi. Royston’s number 9 was not to be denied though and after a long ball from the Crows the little striker received the ball and slotted past the hapless Bufton.
The Kingfishers did not allow this blow to deter them and 16 year old substitute Peter Raines drifted past the Royston midfield, his excellent pass found Oliyide but before the young striker could shoot he was marshalled superbly by Lee Wilson.
Raines was the bane of the Royston defence and his trickery on the edge of the area found Willmoth primed and ready for a shot, this was blocked by Beck but the rebound found kindly for the Thatcham Number 7, however his second chance went wide over the Royston goal.
With time running out, naive defending from Bowler found Malins in acres of space and the Royston winger made no mistake and coolly slotted home to give the home side a perhaps slightly undeserved score line.
The Kingfishers were broken at this point and Royston could have had an unjustified third goal if Dalton O’Brien had not slipped in a shooting position.
Overall three points gained over a very resilient, a very young and a very tough Thatcham side. Promotions are decided over games like this and although not pretty it was very very effective.
Team: Williamson, Endacott, Parr (Wilson), De La Salle, Beck, Spencer ©, Edwards, Malins, Fehmi, Lockett (O’Brien), Robins. Subs Not Used: Robertson, Norris