|Date||Saturday 29 November 2014|
|Match||Potters BarTown v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evo-Stik League Southern: Division One Central|
A performance of true grit and honest determination, topped with a pure moment of magic and a slice of good fortune, was sufficient to arrest the recent away games malaise and bring all three points home to Royston.
Steve Castle chose to play a flat back four today compared to recent three at the back wing-back formation and the full back positions were taken by the excellent young players George Powell and Conor Kilgallon leaving no places in the squad for the more experienced Jack Bradshaw and Lewis Endacott.
A 4-1-3-2 formation was adopted by the Crows with Spyros Mentis playing the important holding role in front of the centre-backs and putting in an excellent display of total commitment. The competent midfield three of Scott Bridges, Stuart Bridges and Chris Watters left the front line to Reece Dobson and Ryan Ingrey.
It was a decent half from the Crows who bossed the first period winning most 50/50 balls and the classy midfield three were always looking to create mayhem going forward with Liam McDevitt vocal and Ryan Wharton marshalling well we also saw Kilgallon doing first class work at left back. Not all pass and movement went to plan on a tricky surface but the Crows’ buoyant enthusiasm was more than apparent. This energy was rewarded on 13 minutes when good link up play from Kilgallon and Watters on the left saw a firm pass played in and Dobson took it expertly on his chest and with one movement span and left foot volleyed just clipping the underside of the bar as it left the Scholar’s defenders and keeper watching in muted admiration.
The home side responded well and got more into this game, stifling their visitors final third play better and making more forward motion of their own with sharper wide play testing both young full backs who both coped admirably. Further real chances for either side were few and far between but notably Dominic Russo in the Royston goal showed good handing dealing well with high balls and free kick efforts.
A half time substitution saw Robbie Nightingale replace Stuart Bridges and Royston started brightly with Ingrey continuing his usual high tempo industry upfront and Dobson looking lively early on with probing wide runs.
Russo gave himself and others a scare dallying on a ground ball too long but his defenders rallied well to bail him out. The Scholars were worrying their visitors with their best spell of the game around the hour mark as the Crows straggled and struggled to deal with the higher pace play from Potters Bar. Ryan Ingrey was assaulted on 67 minutes and his subsequent removal from the pitch was forced seeing Craig Hammond come on to do some good work.
A big penalty shout from the home side followed on 70 minutes when Tom Laxton was unquestionably fouled and a free-kick awarded by the referee leaving home players apoplectic and away players surprised respectively as the incident was clearly inside the box.
Despite this officiating let off it can be argued that Royston deserved this result for their first half endeavour and creation and against a plucky and resilient Potters Bar side these three points were hard earned and the goal scored to win it was a true joy to behold.
Team: Russo, Powell, Kilgallon, Wharton, McDevitt, Mentis, Bridges Scott, Bridges Stuart (Nightingale), Dobson, Watters, Ingrey (Hammond).
Subs not used – Theobald, Collins, Hart.