|Date||Tuesday 2 February 2016|
|Match||Ware v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
|Royston Scorers||Bradshaw(2), Thomas, Ingrey|
Despite a metaphoric punch on the nose on 8 minutes this was a dominant, convincing and impressive away win by a particularly focussed Royston Town squad, embracing both conditions and new personnel with purpose and ultimate positive result.
The starting line up saw the presence of new striker Simon Thomas for the first time and new signing Tommy Hull was on the bench raring to go. The squad looked strong in ability and depth and if tonight’s display is an indication of things to come, the second half of this fragmented season looks promising indeed.
The Crows began with their high tempo approach, immediately pressing their hosts back and winger Rhys Hoenes looking particularly lively. It was then a big shock to the system when the Blues took the lead when Murat Karagul’s well struck long distance effort from the left wing swerved and eluded Ron Yates to finish high in the Royston goal – a great opportunist strike. 1-0.
Unperturbed the Crows got back to it and the on and off the ball movement caused Ware many problems in all three sections of the pitch and the surging runs of both Ryan Ingrey and Hoenes together with impressive hold up play by an engaged Thomas was especially pleasing on the eye.
Royston got back level on 16 minutes when Hoenes was tripped whilst out-pacing his scrabbling marker and the resulting penalty was powered home by skipper Jack Bradshaw. 1-1.
The referee suffered from premature whistling as a few times, for both sides, he could have let play develop before stopping the post foul action and this didn’t help the flow of what was trying to be a high velocity entertaining match, with the Crows looking to capitalise on the at times unplayable Hoenes.
The Blues endeavours to stifle the rampant Hoenes was again undone on 39 minutes when a corner routine didn’t quite play as practised, but was suitably resurrected by a great pass by Danny May and Hoenes set about a lateral dribble, looking for a shooting opportunity, only to be clattered again in the box – déjà vu all over again as Bradshaw stepped up to thump home the penalty kick. 1-2.
It was all Royston and the half time lead was extended further as on 42 minutes Thomas got his first goal for his new team. Some superb work by Ingrey up the right saw his cross pass half cleared and Thomas sent in a waist high power shot that first hit a defender and then took a flick off of Hoenes as it hit the back of the net. 1-3.
Second half and no immediate changes but Castle implemented a sensible change on 52 minutes replacing captain Bradshaw to protect him as he had received a yellow card in the first half and was attracting further referee attention with his committed approach to his break up role and Tommy Hull came on for his first taste of action in a Royston shirt.
We then saw two more personnel changes with Gus Scott-Morriss swapping for Chris Watters at left back and with an impressive hours work completed striker Thomas gave way for Gary Cohen to enter the fray.
The next score was the goal of the game as man of the match Erkan Okay, having had a really good first half and was effectively running the show in the second, put in a sharp 20 yard right side surge, splitting the defenders, and put over a six yard line following pass to find Ingrey well placed to side foot home. 1-4.
Consistent pressure from the visitors brought further half chances but home keeper Tom Coulton did well and at the death of the game, following another foul on Hoenes, in the absence of Bradshaw it was the diminutive winger who wrestled the ball from Scott-Morriss and took the resultant spot kick – Coulton chose well and dove left to save the under-hit penalty and the score remained at 1-4 at the final whistle.
The home side frustration was palpable and Josh Oyibo, cramping up for the last 20 minutes, was given early respite, earning himself a second yellow card and Ware finished the match with 10 men.
This win saw the Crows climb back into the play off positions, with a game in hand on those above them, but with other teams around them well positioned and also interested in these coveted league places – one such team being Northwood whom are Royston’s next opponents in a tricky away contest on Saturday.
Team: Yates, May, Watters (Scott-Morriss), Okay, McDevitt, Brathwaite, Towner, Bradshaw (Hull), Thomas (Cohen), Ingrey, Hoenes.
Subs not used – Mason, Dobson