|Date||Saturday 11th November 2017|
|Match||Royston Town v Leatherhead|
|Competition||Buildbase FA Trophy: 2nd Qual Round|
|Royston Scorers||Darling, Castiglione, Murray|
Adam Murray proved that lightning does indeed strike twice, as his injury time winner sealed the Crows place in the next round of the FA Trophy. It was only just over 2 weeks ago that Royston found themselves 2 goals down against Farnborough and once again they battled back to record victory, with a stoppage time goal from that man Murray.
The first 15 minutes of the game could not have been more one-sided as Leatherhead tore out of the blocks and put Royston to the sword, moving the ball quickly and accurately. Royston were hardly even second best as the visitors raced into a 2-goal lead courtesy of Liam Nash (although it did look as if Joe Welch had been fouled in the lead up) and D’Sean Theobald who finished well following a defence splitting pass from Nash.
Royston were forced into an early change, as James Potton was forced off, to be replaced by Adam Marriott, whose involvement seemed to spur Royston into life. He immediately released Josh Castiglione whose cross tantalisingly was out of reach of an in-rushing Ryan Ingrey on the back post. Castiglione was then guilty of missing two gilt edged headed chances from Gus Scott-Morriss’ crosses, both of which should really have seen the net ripple. Sandwiched in between Marriott also had a goal chalked off for an accurately called offside.
Having constantly threatened for the second part of the first half Royston were finally rewarded, as Harry Darling rose to convert a Lee Chappell cross, to record his first goal for the club and in doing so giving real hope of a comeback to the home crowd.
The second half started in the same vein with Royston on top and they were duly rewarded with the equalising goal in the 53rd minute. An accurate long ball forward from Sam Corcoran found skipper Scott Bridges, who expertly chested the ball down into Castiglione’s path. Although his headers lacked accuracy there was nothing wrong with his shooting boots, as he arrowed in a half volley, giving Zaki Oualah no chance in the Tanners goal.
Now looking odds-on to go on and complete victory, Royston were stopped in their tracks by the dismissal of centre half Harry Darling. A second yellow card was brandished, as Darling went to ground in an attempt to dispossess Jack Midson. Having been booked in the first half the ref gave Darling his marching orders. Given the softness of both yellow cards, the red seemed very harsh in a game that was competitive, but with no malice throughout.
This changed the complexion of the game with Leatherhead enjoying more possession, but it continued to look more likely to be a home win, as the Crows still looked threatening on the break. The Tanners seemed to be content with a replay, being unable to conjure up a single attempt on Welch’s goal during the second period, despite the numerical advantage.
The winning goal came following a 93rd minute lung busting run from Bridges, who having progressed dangerously into Leatherhead territory, was fouled. Chappell stepped up and sent a devilish ball into the area and there was Murray to power home a trademark header.
As in the Farnborough game, this prompted delirious scenes both on and off the pitch, as another memorable comeback had been completed.
Royston: 1-Welch, 2-Scott-Morriss, 3-Chappell, 4-Bridges (c), 5-Murray, 6-Darling (sent off 63), 7-Potton (14-Marriott 19 (12-Oyinsan 46)), 8-Corcoran, 9-Ingrey, 10-Thomas, 11-Castiglione (17-Asafu-Adjaye 64)
Unused: 15-Powell, 16-Brathwaite
|5||EFFORTS ON TARGET||3|
|6||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||5|
|22||FREE KICKS AWARDED||13|