|Date||Saturday 3 October 2015|
|Match||Royston Town v Great Wakering Rovers|
|Competition||FA Trophy: Preliminary Round|
|Royston Scorers||Hoenes, Scott Bridges, Towner|
In a mostly competitive and somewhat bruising encounter it was the more effective football of Royston Town that overcame the spoiling endeavours of their visitors to comfortably win this FA Trophy Preliminary Round cup tie and secure a visit to Wingate and Finchley FC in the next round at the end of October.
The tone of the first half was set as early as the second minute as Great Wakering set their stall out with an ugly James Pugsley challenge being punished with a yellow card. The Crows high paced and sometimes hasty ball movement was confounding their opponents – whose only answer was sometimes clumsy but mainly calculated play-stopping fouls.
With the games punctuated by stoppages and referee soliloquy the first period lacked flow but it was the home side that continued to create openings and half chances and the desire and intention on display from the energetic Crows was good to watch.
Despite Crows domination and with Ron Yates redundant it was mildly surprising that the opening goal came as late as 40 minutes. Rhys Hoenes picked up the ball wide left and with good team-mate movement in the box bamboozling defenders space was created for him to cut back and plant a right foot shot across keeper Adam Seal and neatly into the far side of the goal. 1-0.
Fittingly another wild challenge from number 4 Stuart Hepburn brought a third Rovers caution on the stroke of half-time.
The second half had a slightly different modus operandi as Great Wakering had possibly grasped that a repeat of their first 45 minutes would achieve nothing positive and only result in a reduction in numbers of their pitch based team.
This game was won in the midfield battle today with Scott Bridges, Stuart Bridges and man of the match Ryan Towner dictating terms and coupled with high quality centre back play from Jack Bradshaw and Liam McDevitt, home team stopper Yates’ afternoon was very quiet.
The Crows’ second goal came on 57 minutes as some impressive set up play from Towner allowed Scott Bridges to pick up the ball mid stride and direct a low, firm and accurate shot cleanly past Seal. 2-0.
Chris Watters replaced the wounded Rob Mason forcing a slight team re-alignment but still it was home team momentum that was seen. Joe Ryan came on for Stuart Bridges and with 15 minutes to go Josh Castiglione replaced Daniel Brathwaite and the youngster’s immediate impetus brought the match sealing score.
Castiglione’s pace and footwork opened up play centrally for Towner to arrive and strike and he saw his goal-bound shot deflected enough to wrong-foot Seal and nestle in the net for 3-0 score to underline the full dominance seen today from Royston and secure progression to the next round.
Team:Yates, May, Brathwaite (Castiglione), Bradshaw, McDevitt, Bridges Scott, Bridges Stuart (Ryan), Towner, Hoenes, Mason (Watters), Ingrey.
Subs not used – Tewkesbury, Scott-Morriss.