|Date||Saturday 31 October 2015|
|Match||Wingate & Finchley v Royston Town|
|Competition||FA Trophy: 1st Round Qualifying|
Royston Town made a highly successful journey to Ryman Premier club, Wingate & Finchley, in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy, securing a well won 2-0 victory and playing some good organised and controlled football, out-playing and out-thinking their opponents in most departments.
Steve Castle and Chris Watters utilised scouting knowledge to line up their troops to play a high pressing game in midfield, always looking to break up play quickly and surge forward over-loading their hosts speedily and in number and it was noticeable that this tactic nullified Wingate & Finchley’s similar style of play.
Debutant Ekan Okay slotted into midfield easily putting in an impressive first match lining up alongside Scott Bridges and Ryan Towner whom dominated the middle of the park throughout.
An early penalty shout from the Crows was waved away and as play shifted swiftly from end to end and Ron Yates showed good alertness by cutting out a forward pass as a last man sweeper and on 20 minutes Gus Scott-Morriss was bypassed only to see Yates make a solid save from a low goal-bound shot.
From an Okay corner Jack Bradshaw arrived late and powered a low header stinging the hands of home keeper Jack Metcalfe and minutes later Medcalfe was a spectator as Kaan Fehmi’s snap shot went just wide.
The two sides were cancelling each other out and true manufactured shots on target were at a premium but the scoring breakthrough came for the visitors on 38 minutes when Ryan Ingrey was fouled for a penalty and Fehmi stepped up to take it. The spot kick was well blocked by Medcalfe but his parry only scooped up for speedy Rhys Hoenes to arrive first and head home the loose rebound. 0-1.
The Blues had a good chance to equalise almost immediately but Rob Laney’s header from a well delivered corner went just over the bar. The home-side seemed to be picking up multiple injuries forcing early team changes that could not have helped their first half momentum.
Second half and Royston were initially the more positive and Fehmi’s curling and dipping effort produced a good tip over and from the resulting corner Liam McDevitt’s header also skimmed just over.
Fehmi left the pitch on 56 minutes to be replaced by Luke Robins and Robins immediately got into the action picking up the ball wide left and his attempted curl shot was easy for Medcalfe to collect.
On the 70 minute mark the home side had a good five minute period utilising a swift break and Scott Bridges unfortunately flicked header aided the break as Ben Andreos ran on and struck a firm shot just wide. Yates again played a big part in this match making a fantastic low right save again from Andreos to keep his team one up.
With chances now being created at both ends as the game stretched it certainly needed another Crows’ goal to seal it and this came on 89 minutes via another awarded penalty as Okay was fouled clumsily on the edge of the box. This time Hoenes seized the ball to take it and it is not clear whether Medcalfe got a touch on it but the ball bounced back from the post and found skipper Scott Bridges lurking just outside the penalty area and his low driven shot through the melee of players was cruelly deflected past the home keeper by an equally surprised Hoenes who was still admonishing himself for not scoring the penalty. Harsh – but we will take it. 0-2.
Another Blues surge saw Yates save again and this exciting cup match was brought to an end.
Overall a thoroughly pleasing visit to North London and Royston’s reward is an away trip to Tilbury FC in the next round to be played on Saturday 14th November.
Team: Yates, Scott-Morriss (Powell), Brathwaite, Bradshaw, McDevitt, Bridges Scott, Okay, Towner, Fehmi (Robins), Ingrey, Hoenes.
Subs not used – Mason, Watters, Bridges Stuart.