|Date||Saturday 13 April 2013|
|Match||Guildford City v Royston Town
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One|
|Royston Scorers||Robins, Standen|
|Attendance||74 (30 from Royston)|
|Crows MoM||Harry Reynolds|
Damp Royston Pegged Back By The Sweeney
By Jez Izod
In a match in which water wings could have been the preferred alternative kit to shin pads, the Crows returned from Surrey with a point earned in no small way by a masterful display by 16 year old goalkeeper Harry Reynolds.
Royston started brightly and had the lead after just three minutes after a superb run by Taylor Parr found Kaan Fehmi lurking on the edge of the box, the little striker fed a delightful ball to Luke Robins and his powerful shot into top right hand corner gave Antony Hall no chance at all.
It should have been two goals to the good five minutes later after a long ball from Parr was latched onto by Fehmi, his shot brought a world class save from Hall and with the ball still in play, Matt Standen’s effort was again saved by the Guildford custodian.
On 18 minutes brought a moment the match officials will want to forget after a magnificent move by Standen produced a shot from Fehmi, once again his effort was saved by Hall. Standen then planted the loose ball into the back of the net from an offside position. With Royston fans and players celebrating and with the assistant referee’s flag still down, Guildford City surrounded the referee in protestation. After a brief discussion with his assistant, a goal kick was awarded. The correct decision was given in the end.
The Crows were determined to end this as a contest with the rain pouring down and on 21 minutes Kaan Fehmi wriggled into the opposition area and his dangerous looking cross was put behind by Ben Raynor.
From the corner Mat Standen saved the home side by inexplicably clearing over the bar from the pin point set piece.
Standen made up for his glaring miss four minutes later after another impressive surging run from Parr found Robins scampering down the left, the winger's cross found Standen who coolly finished past Hall.
The home side seemed to sense their predicament at this point and the first moment of danger came on 32 minutes after a long ball was hoofed up field and latched onto by Junior Kaffo, Harry Reynolds came to the rescue by smothering the ball just as the Guildford number 8 was pressing the trigger.
The conditions were beginning to play a huge part with play as large puddles began to formulate on the playing surface and this led to the Sweeney fight back.
With the Crows looking comfortable, an uncharacteristic mistake from Parr allowed Dan Moody to slip in and slot past Reynolds.
Guildford should have been level just before half time after a snap shot from Rivers was superbly saved by the young Royston stopper. The resultant corner found Moody but the winger shot just wide.
With Guildford flooding forward in the second half, a fabulous curling shot from Kaffo brought an unbelievable save from Reynolds. With Guildford fans celebrating a certain equaliser, the young league debutant clawed the effort behind the goal.
On 57 minutes another excellent save from Reynolds led to a hotly disputed corner, with Royston players still protesting to the match officials, the set piece was taken quickly and danger man Kaffo levelled the scores giving Reynolds no chance at all.
The Sweeney should have had lead on the hour mark after a scampering run by Tyrone Newton led to a certain goal scoring shot that produced yet another wonderful save from young Harry.
Conditions at this point were awful for both sides, but Guildford seemed to be adapting to them more comfortably than the Crows.
Another moment of refereeing madness came on 74 minutes after Ryan Ingrey was pole-axed in the home area. With the home side resigned to a penalty, the match official unbelievable waved play on, much to the consternation of the Crows.
With Club Captain Ross Collins replacing the hard working Standen, the leader attempted to win the match with a rasping free kick that rattled the Guildford cross bar.
With the game petering out as a spectacle, the match referee did not endear himself to the home contingent by sending off Elvis Defreitas for a sliding tackle that did not deserve a second yellow.
The final move of the match saw a free kick from Fehmi headed agonisingly wide by Jason Beck.
With proceedings brought to a halt overly early in stoppage time, both sides could reflect on a hard fought display in terrible conditions.
With Will Norris returning to Cambridge United at the end of the season, it is comforting to know that the future is bright, the future is Reynolds.
Royston will reflect on missed opportunities in the first half, but will have the opportunity to return to the play-off fold at Woodford United on Tuesday evening.
Royston Town: Reynolds, Parr, Beck, De La Salle (c), Endacott (Wilson), Ingrey, Edwards, Standen (Collins), Fehmi, Young, Robins. Subs Not Used: Spencer, McDevitt