|Date||Saturday 14 January 2017|
|Match||Royston Town v Fleet Town|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
|Royston Scorers||O.G., Ingrey|
This was an important game for the Crows to get back on track after the poor showing on Tuesday night and whilst it was not a festival of football, the Crows showed good determination and focus to secure the three points and line up with renewed confidence for Tuesday’s crucial clash with title rivals Farnborough.
With John Frendo still away, Matt Nolan was handed a start and home debut and Scott Bridges served his last game of a four game suspension. Gus Scott-Morriss was only present on crutches so the versatile Ryan Towner was asked to slot in at right back.
The first half was an equal, but low quality match with both teams pressing at times but it was mainly a midfield skirmish of two determined teams with Fleet showing why they are hard to beat this season.
The Crows main spear-head was Adam Murray who had numerous chances from dead ball delivery, usually from Danny May who continued to provide good supply, but Murray was well marshalled and the only time the ball was put in the net on 23 minutes was adjudged a climbing foul.
It was mainly the Crows on the front foot but the Blues of Fleet had sporadic chances to counter-attack and the Royston defence dealt with most things and when breached Joe Welch was equal to the challenge.
The first half was goalless.
The second half was only four minutes old when the Crows lost Spyros Mentis who had to leave the pitch after being accidently clattered by team-mate Murray and walked off dazed. Stuart Bridges came on as a straight positional swap in the midfield break up role.
Fleet seized the initiative and had a good spell of possession and half chances and Welch was busy and pleasingly solid.
The Crows took the lead against the second half run of play on 59 minutes when a free-kick on the edge of the Fleet box was shot by the wall by May and it was met with an attempted defence headed clearance, but the connection only steered it into the goal for Royston to take the lead via a clear own goal. 1-0.
Kaan Fehmi was replaced by Rod Orlando-Young on the hour and then 8 minutes later Nolan gave way for Ryan Ingrey.
It was Ingrey that was taken down for a clear penalty on 72 minutes as he broke powerfully into the six-yard area – but much to the disbelief of everyone in the ground the well-placed – but incorrect ref called a free-kick to Fleet.
Royston could not keep clean possession to dominate this game and Fleet had a good free-kick attempt on 83 minutes that Joe Welch got across well and dove to his left to collect before it went in.
The Crows sealed the match in the 86th minute when Ingrey surged down the left wing and with a cross ball an option, but marking present, he shot low just inside the post to make the final score 2-0.
Josh Castiglione was awarded the sponsor’s man of the match – but good games from Ryan Towner, Adam Watkins and Martel Powell caught the eye to do the job for the Crows and see their team through to three valuable points.
Team: Welch, Towner, May, Mentis (Bridges Stu), Frater, Murray, Fehmi (Orlando-Young), Powell, Nolan (Ingrey), Watkins, Castiglione.
Subs not used – Brathwaite, Watters.