|Date||Wednesday 11 January 2017|
|Match||Kidlington v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
It had to happen – Royston’s impressive winning league run stopped at 13 games – crashing to a very disappointing mid-week away loss to lowly Kidlington FC, meaning that this team sitting currently in 18th position in the division has taken 4 points off of the Crows in this promotion chasing season.
The quality across the team just wasn’t there today and neither was the clinical finishing in front of goal demonstrated on Saturday that compensated for the equally sloppy defending.
On a bobbly pitch and with a under assessment referee making strange decisions for both teams this was a scrappy match that was won through sheer commitment from the home team who played it like their cup final and Royston had no real answers.
Bereft of their real spine the Crows lost possession too cheaply and too often and the home side punished them scoring two goals.
Royston took the lead on 30 minutes with their only on target shot of the game, Ryan Towner set up Adam Watkins for a shot from the edge of the box with reasonable power, but the central effort should really have been saved, but had enough on it to squeeze under the diving keeper and get across the line. 0-1.
Immediately Kidlington got the scores even – breaking away quickly and shooting well at the top corner but Joe Welch dove right and tipped the ball over. Unfortunately, from the resulting corner the ball was delivered low and Spyros Mentis sliced into his own goal. 1-1.
Again the standard of cohesive play was low from the Crows and I have no doubt Steve Castle lambasted his team at half time for this sub-standard showing.
No immediate personnel changes and the briefly enlivened Crows had their best chance early on to regain the lead with a corner coming over and both Rod Orlando-Young and Ryan Ingrey striking the framework of the goal and the home side hacked the ball away.
The Crows were forced into a change on 50 minutes as Gus Scott-Morriss twisted his ankle on the poor and uneven pitch and had to be stretchered off in obvious audible pain.
Stuart Bridges came on at centre-back and Danny May came across to right back with Dan Brathwaite slotting in at left back.
Again still a fragmented and poor match continued for the Crows who just couldn’t manufacture some consistent pressure on the busy and engaged home side.
Castle sent on his last two changes on the hour mark. Ryan Towner and Rod Orlando-Young left the pitch for the equally attack minded Kaan Fehmi and Matt Nolan to come on, with Nolan making his debut for the Crows.
Continued effort was seen – but still no real breakthrough or further attempts on the Kidlington goal.
Nolan appeared to be fouled leading up to the home side’s winning 74th minute goal as he was clumsily deposited on the floor, but the referee was not giving much tonight and Kidlington broke away quickly up the left wing and Tom Castle cut in and finished well low past the despairing Welch. 2-1.
Royston had no answers and if anything it was only going to be Kidlington who could increase their lead and the home side celebrated a deserved big scalp and important three points for them.
The Crows need to re-group quickly – two home games – firstly Fleet Town on Saturday then a not unimportant match against main title rivals Farnborough on Tuesday.
Team: Welch, Scott-Morriss (Bridges Stu), May, Mentis, Brathwaite, Frater, Orlando-Young (Fehmi), Towner (Nolan), Ingrey, Watkins, Castiglione.
Subs not used – Powell.