|Date||Tuesday 9 October 2012|
|Match||Leighton Town v Royston Town
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One|
|Royston Scorers||Matt Standen|
|Crows MoM||Ryan Ingrey
For the second match running the young Royston Town team worked hard to recapture the fast flowing football that has carried them so far over the past four seasons. Up against a physically strong and equally determined Leighton Town side the Crows could not find any real tempo or momentum and despite creating the greater number of goal chances during the entire match ended up chasing the game to get a well deserved point.
The game opened with some mutual sparring with Royston creating some half chances and on 14 minutes a Ryan Lockett corner was met low by Ryan Ingrey whose header hit the base of the post and bounced out. The pace of the play escalated and further Royston pressure forced a corner but the resulting shot was deflected wide by the Crow’s own Joe De La Salle. A hard tackle on Russell Bull and violent follow up by the Leighton number 4 could have resulted in a straight red and a period of ill-temper by both sides affected an already scrappy game. The home side’s giant striker, Leon Simpson, was booked for a blatant penalty box dive that didn’t help the overall mood of the game. Royston’s best chance of the half came as skipper Ross Collins pushed up the right wing and blazed a hard shot across the goal that was going in until the Red’s keeper, Haydn Dodge, got a good touch and sent it wide with the resulting corner seeing a De La Salle header cleared off the line. The referee’s whistle brought the frustrating first half to an end with the score at 0-0.
Royston took the field for the second half with no personnel changes and the first fifteen minutes of the second period produced a series of careless passes and poor decision making that weren’t aided by the home side’s persistent cynical fouls that stopped the Crow’s advances before they really started. On the hour mark, Duncan Easley and Martin Paine started to change things, replacing the rusty Russell Bull with Matt Standen and five minutes later brought on Sam Spencer for the injured Lewis Endacott.
An unforced handball in the middle gave Leighton a free-kick and further lapses in concentration saw the home side take the lead as striker Ben Gallant seized his opportunity and running direct at goal curled a low shot round the helpless Will Norris into the bottom left hand corner on 70 minutes. This goal certainly spurred the Crows into more positive action and with Josh Bronti now on for Luke Robins there was a period of better play by Royston that despite looking more threatening still seemed to breakdown in front of goal. Leighton had a penalty shout that was turned down and this led to a brief injury stoppage.
It was this resulting injury time that proved to be Royston’s lifeline as they surged forward forcing two corners that everyone, including keeper Norris, came up for. On 94 minutes, the second corner was sent over by Lockett to see Norris attempt an audacious overhead kick causing enough distraction for the ball to be loose in the six yard box only for Matt Standen to react quickest and power home a drive from four yards to get Royston Town a hard earned, but fair point. Final score 1-1.
Team: Norris, Parr, Endacott (Spencer), Bradshaw, DeLaSalle, Edwards, Collins (c), Lockett, Ingrey, Bull (Matt Standen), Robins (Bronti).