|Date||Saturday 17 January 2015|
|Match||Uxbridge v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Division One Central|
Royston Town extended their pleasing run of league wins to five in this hard fought last minute win over recently in form Uxbridge. The Crows had a few chances to put this match beyond their hosts but it fell to an exciting 90th minute goal to take all three points.
The pitch was 98% decent but there were two patches near one penalty box that could only be described as a quagmire that both sets of defenders would have to be extremely aware of during the match.
The Red Army started the game looking a bit nervous and it was obvious that the Crows were up for this one and early forays into the Uxbridge danger zone produced probing crosses but no real goal attempts.
The experienced defence were working together well and keeping their opponents efforts to a safe distance. The first real Royston on target attempt saw Ryan Lockett loop a header from a Chris Watters cross that keeper Paul McCarthy plucked easily and Lockett shot wide from a Ryan Ingrey cross two minutes later.
There was good link up play evident from the Crows and the possession play was good and this time Lockett’s cross sped low across the penalty area but with no-one placed to convert.
Ron Yates had some work to do on the half hour mark and he was quick off the line to block save from a tight angle and three minutes later Stuart Bridges did really well on his own goal-line – heading clear cleanly with Yates beaten.
The visitors had the better of this first half with Kaan Fehmi extremely active and creative and finding space in tight areas impressively. Some good footwork from the Crows Captain brought another cross but possibly too deep for effect.
Uxbridge bit back with two decent moves and Royston’s final ball during the whole first half was a little wanting but they finished the first 45 in the ascendancy with Ingrey and Lockett prominent and Bridges attempting a neat flick and volley that went over and McCarthy making a low diving save from Lockett – the chance laden first half ended goalless.
No half time changes and Royston came out busy and caught their hosts a bit static and Fehmi had a really good early chance feeding off a quality Ryan Wharton left foot cross but pulled his hurried volley just wide.
The Crows better movement was causing the Red Army trouble and they had them pinned back. Steve Castle made a change on the hour replacing Ross Collins with Jack Bradshaw and pushing Watters forward with this reshuffle.
Almost immediately from this restructure Fehmi produced a great probing through ball and Ingrey had found himself some space in the box as the ball reached him perfectly and he finished confidently under the sprawling keeper.
Castle sent on Reece Dobson for the superb but unlucky Lockett and Dobson’s introduction brought him front and centre for some excellent chances to seal this league victory. Fehmi set him up for an open finish that went wide and then on 70 minutes Dobson hit the post from a more difficult chance.
Uxbridge were mixing it up a bit and their midfield challenges to try and get a foothold were certainly over-zealous and the referee was lenient to say the least with some of their more fierce tackles causing the stretched Crows medical team to get involved. The once again excellent Spyros Mentis fell victim to two bad connections – one seeing frustrated skipper Wayne Carter see yellow when it could have been red. Mentis was forced from the pitch licking his wounds being replaced by Gary Hart and ubiquitous Ingrey slotted back into midfield.
Bradshaw dealt out his own brand of retribution – receiving a deserved yellow card – but the referee played a good advantage and Matty Woods got behind the back line setting up Lewis Cole to finish in almost slow motion. Scores level and the Crows looked like they would rue their many missed opportunities.
Ingrey suffered a similar fate to his predecessor Mentis and he took a severe blow that took him out of the game for a couple of treatment minutes. On his return and hobbling badly Ingrey was sent back upfront, out of the midfield melee, but to remain a nuisance as the pressing Crows had no substitutes left.
Uxbridge must have felt they had got a point from this game but still pushed forward and with a late home team surge broken up by the relentless Bridges and the eager Dobson took the ball up the left and with the clock hitting 90 minutes delivered a peach of a cross that found the crocked but ready Ingrey perfectly at the back post as he rose to head home a delightful winner and the game was deservedly won.
Team: Yates, Wharton, Watters, McDevitt, Theobald, Collins (Bradshaw), Bridges Stuart, Mentis (Hart), Lockett (Dobson), Fehmi , Ingrey
Subs not used – Russo, Nightingale.