|Date||Saturday 18 September 2010|
|Match||Royston Town v Chalfont St. Peter|
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division|
|Man of Match||Ricky Young|
Royston suffered their heaviest home league defeat in four years as league leaders Chalfont St Peter showed what they are favourites to win this season’s title by leaving Paul Attfield’s team in a sorry state by the full time whistle.
For seventy minutes there had been so little between the two sides and whilst the visitors had found themselves two up at the interval this was a harsh reflection for The Crows on the game itself but the way the team gave up in the last ten minutes caused a number of raised eyebrows as Chalfont finished in some style.
Royston didn’t go into the game in great shape with Tom Malins. Luke Robins. Conor De Lacy and George Brinkman all injured and four of the on pitch starters had not recovered fully from injuries suffered during the week but despite this Royston were the better team in the first half and should have been ahead.
Youth team player debutant Ryan Webb whipped in a corner that whistled across the six yard box with the players watching the ball rather than attacking the ball and moments later a Ryan Lockett free kick was met by Ashley Grinham with the ball striking the crossbar.
Lockett then had Town’s next chance when he was played through on goal but the keeper raced from his line and blocked well.
Paul Attfield then was forced into a change with Carl Edwards being replaced by Arron Welch after an early booking and final warning had been issued.
Chalfont were mainly limited to half chances in these opening stages although they became more threatening on the counter-attack when the hosts did give up possession and that’s how they took the lead on 37 minutes with their first real chance.
A break from defence saw Royston caught upfield in numbers and a crisp 12 yard finish gave Lee Robinson no chance.
The pivotal moment came in first half injury time. A long ball was claimed by Robinson but as he collided with the Chalfont forward the ball rolled from his grasp into the net. Vigorous protests over the goal went unheeded and another two yellow cards were issued for the trouble.
Chalfont were well organised in the second half sitting deep and counter attacking well when given the opportunity. Royston had much more of the ball but were generally poor with it and struggled to create clear chances. Ryan Webb’s good cross from the left was met by Ricky Young who couldn’t get enough on the header and a similar routine was met by the forward at the far post but his mistimed effort was smothered by the keeper. Arron Welch had The Crows best chance when his rasping volley from a half cleared corner was pushed aside by the keeper.
Attfield had more woe with two more enforced changes to injuries with both full backs Lewis Endacott and Ashley Grinham forced to make way and Royston began losing any control they had at this point with Chalfont picking them off in the last ten minutes with three over loaded counter attacking goals and further chances to make the scoreline even more severe.
Overall Royston find themselves in a bit of a rut at the moment, very similar to the one endured mid way through last season’s campaign. They have gone from a free scoring, solid defensively side to a team that has conceded ten goals in three games and struggling to score goals.
Whilst it is very early in the season the gap between Royston and Chalfont is now 11 points and there are far more worrying things for the Royston manager to address than positives in the near future based on those three games
Team: Robinson Endacott (Whitaker) Grinham (McDevitt) Mulvaney McElvoy Collins Edwards (Welch) Bronti Young Lockett Webb