|Date||Saturday 2 October 2010|
|Match||Stotfold v Royston Town|
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division|
|Man of Match||Nick Mulvaney|
The last time Royston gained a one nil margin of victory was when in the first division on 15th April 2009 and so it was a rare event to see what was in the end was a merited win as The Crows made it back to back wins from this local derby fixture.
A good visiting following in the 166 healthy crowd saw Paul Attfield stick with the starting side that had beaten Oxhey Jets on Tuesday evening and it was a Josh Bronti goal ten minutes from the end that gained the visitors the points.
It was the hosts that started this game better and within sixty seconds a forward had rasped a 25 yard effort against the frame of Lee Robinson’s goal before being scrambled clear. This jolted The Crows and within the next ten minutes that had to withstand some quite intense pressure and they tried to get a foothold of the game.
Stotfold’s pressure saw them create another three chances in that period which were all presentable chances from outside the area but neither was on target.
The visitors gradually weathered the storm and got into some decent rhythmn and as the half wore on began to dominate which transpired to grow into domination of the remainder of the game.
Like other games just lately Royston created good chances but were unable to make any count but athe back were defensively sound with Nick Mulvaney and Liam McDevitt looking strong and commanding.
Royston’s first two chances were clear cut and both from set plays delivered by Ryan Lockett. Well delivered free kicks found the runs of Nick Mulvaney and Carl Edwards with Mulvaney diverting an eight yard free header straight at the keeper and Edwards getting little connection on his clear chance and the ball floated just wide.
George Brinkman was causing big problems to the two centre halves with his solid work rate and by half time both Stotfold centre halves and Brinkman had been cautioned in what was a tough battle. What was missed was a clear foul on the striker as he run clear on goal by two defenders and the seemingly stonewall penalty was turned down to most people’s amazement.
The one good chance Brinkman did have was angled inches wide of a post after a good run and turn in the area. Before half time Ryan Lockett was alos unlucky not to score when he reacted well to a knock down in the are and quickly turned with his effort froma tight angle being blocked by the keeper’s legs.
With no goals at half time the visitors returned to give a much more assured second half show to what they have done in more recent games.
Ryan Lockett, Ross Collins and Carl Edwards dominated the centre and therefore the game was taken control of by The Crows and despite some late pressure the hosts failed to create one second half chance.
Royston’s dominating possession wasn’t quite mtched by the creativity and despite many good attacks a number of final balls were below the quality needed to unlock the door. Ryan Lockett had a 20 yard free kick that was saved low down by the keeper and another drilled close range effort from Ricky Young was goalbound but blocked by a defender.
Brinkman was unlucky not to get another penalty when he was crudely chopped down in the area after he crossed, the cross finding Ricky Young who turned the ball into the net but was flagged offside.
With 20 minutes remaining Attfield replaced Luke Robins with Josh Bronti and his answer was to score the winning goal which admittedly was a touch fortunate. Bronti did well to create himself some space down the left side with his floated cross deceiving the keeper and dropping just inside the far post.
Stotfold livened up but didn’t have the creative flare to unlock Royston’s dtermined work rate and with a little more care the visitors could have maybe killed the game off on the counter attack but the points were well deserved
Team: Robinson Endacott Grinham Mulvaney McDevitt Collins Edwards Young Brinkman (Hayes) Lockett Robins (Bronti) Unused McElvoy Welch Whitaker