|Date||Saturday 26 March 2011|
|Match||Kentish Town v Royston Town|
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division|
|Royston Scorers||Young, Lamacraft, Martin Standen(2)|
|Man of Match||Ross Collins|
The scoreline looks emphatic enough but this was a game that The Crows trailed in by half time and it was another performance that showed 'the good and the bad' of Paul Attfield's current squad.
The Royston Manager opted for precaution leaving John McGrandles on the bench after a knock from Tuesday night's game and there was a full starting debut for winger Paul Klein who has previously been progressing well in the reserve side.
Whilst Kentish Town had been hovering around the relegation places for some time and without a win for 18 games it was an exceedingly sloppy start from The Crows that helped give the hosts some encouragement.
The difficult, dusty playing surface was hard for the players to play attractive football on but a substantial period of individual and collective errors meant a forgettable start to the game.
Royston's best early moments were provided by winger Paul Klein who broke free twice down the right early on with one cross just eluding team mates and another headed just over by Glen Lamacraft. However there was no real control and whilst the hosts worked hard they never really looked an attacking threat and were gifted the lead on 12 minutes.
The Crows fell asleep from a quick throw and a forward did well to turn with the ball just inside the area before being upended by David Cain. The penalty was undisputed as was the resulting kick , sending Jorden Gibson the wrong way.
Royston responded by upping a gear but whilst they struggled to pass the ball they did get plenty of joy with balls played behind the home defensive unit that began to continually play a high line that looked completely unconvincing.
Unfortunately the clear opportunities from the situations created from the space provided by the home tactics were not seized on which became a major frustration. A lofted diagonal ball from Jack Bradshaw was superbly controlled by Ross Collins but the close range effort was shot wide and moments later a good cross from Danny Apostolos was volleyed goalwards by Klein and whilst his effort was blocked on the line the simple rebound effort from Bobby Dance was somehow blazed over.
Klein broke free on two more occasions and on drawing the keeper both times his squared balls across the face of goal were not reacted to well enough and Glen Lamacraft twice broke free of the home defence, on each time thwarted by goalkeeping blocks.
Quite how it remained a narrow home lead at the interval was unexplainable but the general nature of the deficit was plainly taken exception to by the Royston management who sent the team back onto the pitch much earlier for the second half.
Two major differences to the second half were a livelier visiting performance which they looked much the better for and some chances taken. It took less than two minutes for Royston to level. A neat diagonal ball found Jack Bradshaw making good inroads down the left channel and his well delivered cross was headed in by Ricky Young from ten yards. Two minutes later Royston should have had a penalty when Young broke free as despite being hauled to the floor by two tackles the referee shrugged it off to furious protests.
Changes to the team on 65 minutes helped Royston gain even greater control with Martin Standen and Ross Collins given a more forward attacking berths from midfield areas and both contributed greatly in the final scoreline. The crucial third goal arrived just two minutes after the changes. Not for the first time another ball behind the home defence found the well timed run of Collins who beat the keeper to the ball and guided the ball into the path of Glen Lamacraft who had the simplest of finishes from eight yards.
Whilst Kentish has rarely threatened Jorden Gibson had one smart diving block to make after a corner had not been cleared but with 15 minutes to go the game was all but wrapped up when Martin Standen raced clear to slot under the keeper's advance from 16 yards.
A near identical goal followed in the 82nd minute with Standen again beating the offside call and the ball sat up nicely for the midfielder to lob over the stranded keeper from 25 yards.
There were further chances for Paul Klein and Ricky Young who were both narrowly off target. The gulf in the final scoreline was most clearly a fair reflection between the two sides over the entirety of the game but this game was definitely won in the hardest way possible by The Crow's.
Team: Gibson, Bradshaw, Apostolos (Edwards), Cain, Endacott, Collins, Marrtin Standen, Klein, Young, Dance (Grinham), Lamacraft. Unused : McGrandles