|Date||Saturday 29 October 2011|
|Match||Hillingdon Borough v Royston Town|
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division|
|Royston Scorers||K. Fehmi|
|Man of Match||Will Norris|
This undoubtedly was Royston's hardest road trip of the season to date. The hosts, with only one home defeat in eight games and unbeaten in the league since mid August, gave their all in this fixture but one superb team move just before half time proved to be the ultimate difference in Royston's favour.
The added facts that Hillingdon had only conceding three goals in their eight home league games and that The Crows were on the back of three consecutive clean sheets in the league suggested a low scoring game with both teams over the 90 minutes creating an handful of openings each.
The bumpy pitch and and swirling wind didn't help the fluency of the game but whilst the hosts had spells of long possession in the first half they failed to create a clear opening and it was the visitor's who created the best moments.
After an initial sparring period Royston really worked hard on hitting their host's on the counter attack. It took until mid way through the half to create a clear opening but it should have resulted in a goal. A quick switch of play from Martin Standen after a home move broke down released Lewis Endacott who likewise quickly played in Ricky Young who raced clear of the home defence but found the side netting instead of the target from 16 yards.
Kaan Fehmi was becoming more prominent as the half wore on and he had one good chance from 18 yards when things opened up for him but his effort was off target as was a couple more 18 yard efforts from the right side of the area.
Once again the visitors were well determined and organised in defence and it was another move from that area that was the games pivotal moment in the 42nd minute. Good work from Lewis Endacott and Tom Malins down the right opened up the home team and a through ball down the right channel was latched onto by Dalton O'Brien who crossed from the goal line for Kaan Fehmi to sweep into the net unmarked from ten yards.
With Hillingdon having the advantage of a strengthening wind in the second half they resorted to more of a long ball game in the second half but not after the visitors had controlled territorially for the opening ten minutes without creating any clear openings. The hosts then began to get on top of the game and Royston had to particularly deal with some well delivered crosses on a number of occasions. Royston's young goalkeeper Will Norris was called upon to make two diving saves from a header and a ten yard shot when his defence was breached and one fine finger tip save from a 25 yard free kick. On top of the saves the youngster's handling was again impeccable on a way to 5th consecutive clean sheet.
Frustratingly the referee began awarding some baffling yellow cards and missing some obvious infringements which especially frustrated The Crows. The main talking point with ten minutes remaining was the sending off of midfielder Warren Plowright after a heavy but clearly fair challenge for the ball in the centre of the pitch. The official saw it as a foul and a second yellow card forcing Royston to reshuffle and see out the remainder of the game.
Just before the sending off the visitors were unlucky not to double their lead when Tom Malins broke down the left with his dangerous cross striking the far post and rebounding into the keeper's gratefull hands.
One nervy moment late on for Royston came from a misjudged defensive punt down field with John McGrandles and Jason Beck letting the ball bounce, the Hillingdon forward should have done better than shooting straight at Norris from 12 yards.
The final chance fell to Royston in an inexpecible amount of added time when a quick break from midfield by Jack Bradshaw saw him lay on the chance for Tom Malins but the keeper superbly turned away his low drive just before the final whistle
Team: Norris,, Endacott, Arin Fehmi McGrandles, Beck, Martin Standen, Plowright, Young (Clemo), Kaan Fehmi (Bradshaw), O'Brien (Matt Standen), Malins Unused: Robins, Bronti