Wednesday 1st November 2017
Royston Town 1-4 Mildenhall Town
The young Crows suffered a third successive league defeat, this time at the hands of Mildenhall Town, on a chilly evening at Garden Walk. The 4-1 margin did not flatter the away side, who created numerous chances and dominated throughout.
The pick of the away side’s goals came mid-way through the second half when Ben Nolan collected the ball in his own half and the set off on pacey run before sliding the ball past Bradley Green, who was given his first start of the season. Either side of that there were goals from Sheehan – from the spot – after Harrison Knowles brought down Manels in the box and from Huxtable who scored following a corner when the young Crows failed to clear.
At half-time, such was the lop-sided nature of the game, Royston may have felt lucky to have gone in just one goal down. Soon after the restart matters were level. Michael Baulk on the left side of midfield had helped a bouncing ball onto his younger brother Danny and from just inside the box he kept the ball moving by cleverly lobbing the on-rushing keeper.
Mildenhall controlled the first half to such an extent there was regular counting of players to ensure both sides had the same numbers. Manels could have scored twice and left those with Mildenhall sympathies calling for a penalty after 15 minutes when he went down in the box – before Nolan was presented with a glorious chance to score on twenty minutes but got his feet in a muddle and wasted the opportunity.
Royston looked ragged and their only chances were self created by Michael Baulk who three times shot from distance – two of them free-kicks, without causing Mildenhall Keeper Petty any concerns. The Crows will argue they were missing four of their regular back five, three out with injury and one at Wembley hoping to see Real Madrid defeated. Their replacements looked like they were getting to know each other and there was a sense of uncertainty and an air of nervousness, which spread throughout the team.
Late in the game there was a boost for keeper Green. Defensive strength and understanding has been the side’s success this season, but in a moment of chaos the keeper had brought down Manels in the box and the referee had rightly awarded a penalty. Manels brushed aside suggestions that Sheehan should take his second spot-kick of the night and opted to take it himself. His shot was strong, but Green dived to his right to push it away and give him and his team-mates something to savour on a night that was otherwise there to be forgotten.
Royston will hope their injured players can recover and in doing so recover a season that started started well but is going through a challenging patch right now.