|Date||Saturday 4 August 2012|
|Match||Herne Bay v Royston Town
This was a solid performance from The Crows against last season's Kent Premier Division winners and FA Vase Semi-Finalists. Whilst the squad has been crippled by a freakishly high injury list and unavailability which has frustrated manager Paul Attfield, performances and effort levels have been impressive.
The Crows squad also had new players on view in this game with centre halves Joe Delasalle and Jonny Butler, central midfielder Ollie Cleaver and a returning Rhys Lawrence all getting ninety minutes. All performed admirably in a solid team showing in a quite evenly matched game.
The Crows started the better with Luke Robins having an early chance when he raced clear but miskicked across the face of goal. Herne Bay were more threatening from set plays with one whipped in free kick just eluding all encroaching players and flashing wide. Another half cleared free kick was hit goalwards from 20 yards which Will Norris did well to tip over.
Matt Standen had Royston’s best chance of the half when he beat the offside trap but delayed his shot on goal and a last-ditch tackle gave the visitors a corner only.
However it was a corner on the stroke of half time that contributed the opening goal of the game when Jack Bradshaw's near post delivery was met by the head of Luke Robins from eight yards with the ball going in via the underside of the crossbar.
Herne Bay had a good period of pressure in the early stages of the second half but found The Crows difficult to break down and what chances or half chances that were created never troubled Will Norris in goal. A couple of free kicks and long range efforts were off target.
Royston doubled their lead on 55 minutes when Kaan Fehmi's well delivered free kick was met by Robins who beat the keeper to the flight and headed into the empty net. As the half wore on The Crows could have been more clinical as they began to hit the hosts on the counter attack but were let down by poor passes or decision making. That said the pitch was big and the hot conditions began taking its toll on the players in the later stages.
The work rate, however, never withered and a well committed game in front of a decent sized crowd was another worthwhile exercise for the side.
Team: Norris, G. Butler, Endacott (Skeggs), Delasalle, J. Butler, Cleaver, Bradshaw, Lawrence, Fehmi, Matt Standen, Robins.