|Date||Saturday 15 January 2011|
|Match||Royston Town v Stotfold|
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division|
|Royston Scorers||McGrandles, Malins|
|Man of Match||John McGrandles|
Royston produced their third home victory in a week and this win over Stotfold saw them produce their first league double of the season. The game was rather different than last Saturday's win over Tring with the visiting team playing a very defensive game and for that reason on a difficult pitch it took patience and late goals from John McGrandles and Tom Malins to seal the points.
The first half was largely uneventful with persistent intervention from the match officials stopping any flow to the game and both teams struggled to hold on to the ball long enough to create clear openings. The pitch made running with the ball near on impossible in certain areas and it was certainly less pleasing on the eye than the last two Crow's outings.
Paul Attfield had to make an enforced change in the first two minutes after Lewis Endacott received a rather crude lunging tackle that was deemed fair with the full back ending up on crutches leaving Tom Whitaker to make an early entry.
Stotfold offered little in attack but did create the first clear opening from a set play. Leon Gutzmore getting behind Royston's defence to head over from good positioning. A couple of other half chances missed the target and that was as good as it got for the visitors as they spent much more the game defending and making it as difficult as possible for Royston to create.
Ashley Grinham was the main source of Royston's creativity in the first half with a number of his launched long throws causing defensive problems but the home side couldn't create clear openings from these.
The first real chance created by the home side was in the 40th minute when a well struck Ryan Lockett half volley was turned over the bar by the keeper and this set up five minutes of intense pressure that could have seen the home side take the lead.
Lockett was denied by a lst ditch tackle after he created a shooting opportunity and just before half time the same player had a good chance from another long throw that was blocked on the line was Ross Collins following up with an angled drive that hit the inside of the post before being scrambled clear.
Royston played with more pace in the second half and for the most part dominated territorially. Still finding it hard to create clear chances they kept applying pressure and it seemed only a matter of time before the goal arrived.
Tom Malins had the best opportunity to break the deadlock, latching onto Lockett's through ball his lob was blocked by the keeper's outstretched arm. Bobby Dance shot inches wide from a good position in the box before the breakthrough on 70 minutes.
Ryan Lockett's well delivered corner was met on the run by John McGrandles who powerfully headed home from eight yards for his first Royston Town goal.
This opened the game up which was more beneficial to Royston and the win was completed in the last minute when Tom Malins broke a fragile offside trap to advance on goal and fire a shot inside the keeper's near post.
Overall not Royston's best show of the season by far but a spirited, battling performance where two moments of quality deservedly gave them the three points.
Team: Gibson, Endacott (Whitaker), Grinham, McGrandles, Cain, MartinStanden, Edwards, Collins (Brinkman), Dance (Young), Lockett, Malins, Unused: McElvoy, Lamacraft