|Date||Saturday 1 October 2011|
|Match||Royston Town v Tring Athletic
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division
|Royston Scorers||K. Fehmi(3)|
|Man of Match||Kaan Fehmi / Jorden Gibson
An action packed game on a stifling hot day between the sides second and third in the league at the start of play saw The Crows come back from two goals down to snatch victory late on.
There was a return to the Royston squad for Luke Robins after his mid week transfer from Cambride City but Paul Attfield elected to play the same team that started against Biggleswade United in Tuesday evening's emphatic win.
The conditions were tough for the players on both sides but with the visitors playing with just one lone striker it was down to the Royston side to try and take the initiative and break down a packed rearguard. After an initial uneventfull opening Royston began to take control and chances came and went.
The hosts were getting particular joy with chipped balls behind the visiting defensive line . Tom Malins had one chance when his clever run saw him break free but his lob went tamely into the keeper's grasp. Another such through ball found Ryan Lockett but he delayed his shot too long and the keeper smothered close to goal. The writing was probably on the wall that the Tring side would score with their first real chance mid way through the half and so it was to be as the Royston team fell asleep from a simply delivered corner that Graham Hall bullet headed high into the centre of goal. It could have been worse just second later when more poor defending let in an attacker who got to the byline and crossed in low but it was gratefuuly scrambled clear from the six yard box.
The Crows gained a period of contol leading upto half time and were rewarded a chance from the penalty spot with ten minutes of the half remaining after a foul in the area. Ryan Lockett stepped up but shot wide from the mark which sort of summed up the home first half showing. Ross Collins and Tom Malins both had further chances with the keeper again making saves and Kann Fehmi placed a twenty yard free kick two yards wide of the post before the whistle.
The second half didn't start much better for Royston and Tring grew in confidence to make the game quite evenly matched. The game got quite scrappy, with the toiling heat clearly having an effect on some players in both sides. The game came to life mid way through the half when Gibson made a fine save from a 20 yard pile driver but with ball breaking towards the touchline, Stewert King picked up the ball, evaded a couple of casually tired tackles and had all the time in the world to run across the edge of the area and drill a shot into the bottom corner.
Royston's reaction came from the management who had seen enough and three attack minded changes saw Bronti, Robins and Edwards replace Standen, Lockett and Young. The team reaction was instantanious and within three minutes of Tring's second goal that lead was halved when Kaan Fehmi raced onto a through ball to round the keeper and convert. The 191 strong crowd then witnessed a stunning comeback as The Crows were level within another four minutes with an identical goal to their first. Again Fehmi racing onto a well weighted through ball and slipping it under the advancing keeper.
The defining moment came with twelve minutes remaining. Tring were awarded a free kick on the left , the delivery was good but the lack of marking again left wanting. The point blank header was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Gibson with Bradshaw hacking away from the goalline moments before a forward got to the ball. The clearance set off a counter attack with the overlapping Grinham going down in the area under a couple of innocuous challenges. The referee deemed it enough for another penalty and Kann Fehmi sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot to complete a superb hat trick to spark off ecstatic celebrations.
Tring finished the game strongly, loading the Royston area with aerial balls, corners and long throws but the determination to hang on to the slender lead was there to be seen and the final whistle was a blessed relief for all on the home side. Certainly not Royston's best performance by any means but some dogged determination for a 25 minute second half period won them this game when all looked lost at two nil down
Team: Gibson Endacott Grinham McGrandles Bradshaw Standen (Edwards) Collins Malins KFehmi Lockett (Bronti) Young (Robins) Unused : AFehmi Plowright