|Date||Saturday 14 November 2015|
|Match||Tilbury v Royston Town|
|Competition||FA Trophy: 2nd Round Qualifying|
|Royston Scorers||Towner, Okay|
||Emiel Aiken (Tilbury)|
Royston Town plumbed new depths with a cup-tie display of abject misery, matched only by the atrocious weather. The pitch was puddled and heavy but deemed payable by the match officials and Tilbury adapted their own game plan immediately, efficiently and effectively to utilise the conditions leaving the Crows looking naively flat-footed and as unprepared to suggest that they were possibly unaware that it was actually raining.
It was suicide football from minute one as skipper Liam McDevitt’s sliding tackle was enough to take down Neil Richmond in the penalty box and Danny Glozier scored the resultant spot-kick. 1-0.
The Crows forward play was lacking in any real quality with Luke Robins and Rhys Hoenes both having poor games and adding little value to the Royston attack force with Ryan Ingrey putting in his usual committed performance but with little back up or reward.
Tilbury doubled their lead on 15 minutes when Chris Watters at left back was out-classed and out-paced by former Royston player, Emiel Aiken who cut in sharply onto his left foot and placed an accurate shot in the far corner. 2-0.
In a brief bright moment, Royston got one back on the half hour with a Robins’ effort being blocked by keeper Clarke Bogard and Ryan Towner showing good desire to follow up and power his shot home low. 2-1.
With the score position looking slightly better it was important that the Crows held on to this until half time – but disaster struck just before the break as a speculative shot cum cross was put in from the right hand side and Royston keeper Ron Yates lost the ball that squirmed agonisingly under his body for a soft, cheap and match defining goal. 3-1.
Despite the best efforts of the Crows in the second half no real cohesion was evident in these uncomfortable weather conditions that should have now been working with them and it was still the home side that created the better chances. Yates made a good save from a crisp Kurt Smith shot and a long distance Tilbury free-kick somehow avoided everyone and went just wide.
A particularly fired up Rob Mason came on for Robins on the hour mark and was possibly lucky to stay on the pitch as his enthusiasm may have been interpreted differently picking up a swift yellow card and then a stern talking to for a second fractious incident.
On 66 minutes the game was won with Tilbury scoring their fourth. Neil Richmond drove purposefully into the Crows’ box and shot low and hard by Yates seeing Jack Bradshaw make a good goal-line stop, but Aiken reacted quicker and passed into the gaping net. 4-1.
Two further substitutions were made by Steve Castle bringing on two defenders – Joe De La Salle and Gus Scott-Morriss for George Powell and Danny May – despite seemingly having to chase the cup-tie this personnel rearrangement proved dislocated and was ultimately ineffective.
The Crows did get a late consolation goal on 89 minutes, ironically coming direct from an Erkan Okay corner that swirled and dropped into the far end of the Tilbury net and with this being the only Royston “shot” on target in the second half it summed up a desolate day for all connected with Royston Town. 4-2.
Team: Yates, May (Scott-Morriss), Watters, Bradshaw, McDevitt, Powell (De La Salle), Towner, Okay, Robins (Mason), Ingrey, Hoenes.
Subs not used – Stuart Bridges, Castiglione.