|Date||Tuesday 12 April 2011|
|Match||Chalfont St Peter v Royston Town|
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division|
|Royston Scorers||Matt Standen, Malins|
|Man of Match||Matt Standen|
Royston Town FC made the last of three consecutive long distance away trips to play the newly crowned Molten Spartan South Midlands Premier league champions – Chalfont St Peter AFC. The Saints had secured the title and promotion on Saturday with an edgy 0-0 draw against mid-table Stotfold and could relax tonight knowing the job was done. Royston however, still had second place to play for and Paul Attfield would without doubt fire his players up to finish the season on a high even though second position bore no tangible reward.
The Crows entered this match unbeaten on the road for over three months, undefeated in ten league games and as the division’s highest goal scorers, looking to reverse the painful 5-0 home thrashing the Saints had dealt out way back in September.
This was certainly not an end of season procession – it was a feisty match with both sets of players competitive throughout and both teams demonstrating a will to win. Royston emerged 2-1 winners with all goals coming in the second half from substitutes.
The first fifteen minutes saw Royston trying to create shooting chances with some creative football and with Chalfont sitting back and then trying to catch the Crows with speedy and dangerous break away play. Jorden Gibson was called upon to make two good saves in this opening period. Royston lost John McGrandles to an ankle injury on 16 minutes and he was replaced by Matt Standen who went upfront, with Ricky Young dropping back into midfield and skipper Ross Collins occupying a defensive position. This enforced change unsettled the visitors and they took ten minutes to find their feet all the while repelling attacks from Chalfont who could smell blood. Following some scrambled but effective defending, the Crows eased their way back into the game and created their own chances towards the end of the first period with Young and Paul Klein particularly prominent but the half finished at 0-0.
The second half started with Royston still on the front foot and building on the re-jigged back line of Endacott, Apostolos, Cain and Collins created and scored the first real chance on goal on 50 minutes. Ryan Lockett controlled the ball brilliantly and found Matt Standen with a good through ball for Standen junior to finish expertly slotting the ball confidently under the advancing keeper. The Saints were still relying on breakaway tactics and the call from the Crows’ bench was to “keep battling”. Gibson made another fine save as Chalfont stepped up the pressure looking for the equaliser, which unfortunately for Royston came on 63 minutes when substitute Alan Hedley was allowed too much time to drive through unchallenged from centre midfield to plant a shot into the Royston net to bring the scores even. Royston responded with improved movement and despite defending frantically at times to thwart the Chalfont attacks continued to try to play their own good football. On 72 minutes Klein was replaced on the left wing by Tommy Malins and the Crows continued to press and probe. The deserved winner for Royston came on 85 minutes when a superb Endacott cross was met on the run by Malins whose header thudded into the back of the net sending the visitors into raptures.
Overall this was a very good Royston performance against a strong and dangerous Chalfont side.
Team: Gibson, Endacott, Apostolos, Cain, McGrandles (Matt Standen), Edwards, Collins (C), Young, Klein (Malins), Lockett (Turl), Martin Standen. Subs not used – Lawrence, Grinham.