|Date||Saturday 8 January 2011|
|Match||Royston Town v Tring Athletic|
|Competition||Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division|
|Man of Match||Bobby Dance|
The Crows were really up for this second versus third top of the table clash and that determination combined with some excellent football gave them a deserved three points,with their large amount of dominance not reflected in the final scoreline.
In fairness the game could have been out of sight by half time as Tring had to constantly defend wave after wave of attack. The home side could have been three goals up in the first seven minutes.
Full back Ashley Grinham went straight on the attack within the first minute and his over lapping run was no picked up with the goalkeeper quick off his line to block his effort for a corner. From the Ryan Lockett corner Grinham somehow managed to head over, completely unmarked, from six yards.
One of many good team moves created a chance for Bobby Dance in the 7th minute with his blistering shot from the edge of the box smashing the crossbar with Ross Collins not getting clean connection on the rebound the keeper gathered.
Ryan Lockett fired a 20 yard free kick wide of target from a good position before the dominance paid off in the 18th minute. A good move down the right created a half chance for Matt Standen whose shot was blocked with Carl Edwards half volleying into the from just inside the area.
Tring tried to get into the game but actually created no clear chances in the first half. Half a dozen set plays were admirably defended and so Royston went into the break with a slim lead
The second half was far more even with the visitors finding some much needed life in their play and as the pitch got heavier and legs got tired the game became more open but exciting to watch.
Royston still created the better of the chances early on with Lockett firing another free kick straight at the keeper and Bobby Dance shooting goalwards from another good move but the keeper caught at full stretch.
Matt Standen was then replaced, following a crude tackle from behind, by Ricky Young and Young immediately was bundled over in the box for a given penalty with Ryan Lockett's spot kick turned aside by the Tring goalkeeper.
Tring's best chance came mid way through the half when a move from the left side worked its way inside and an unchallenged 20 yard shot clipped the outside of Jorden Gibson's post.
Enter the referee who the sent off a Tring forward for an altercation with an assistant referee and with fifteen minutes remaining both the Tring captain and Martin Standen were given their marching orders after a strong but fair Standen challenge caused an unnecessary melee which took a good five minutes to sort out.
Ten against Nine caused much open space on the pitch. Ryan Lockett and Bobby Dance both had one on one opportunities that both just missed the target and whilst Tring threw bodies forward they couldn't create the clear opportunities needed to help them force and equaliser with, in particular, central defenders Lewis Endacott and David Cain giving excellent performances.
The seven minutes injury time drifted by with Royston still in the ascendancy and the three points sees the deficit between themselves and Tring cut to four points with Tring having a game in hand.
Team: Gibson, Collins, Grinham, Endacott, Cain, Martin Standen, Edwards, Dance, Matt Standen (Young), Lockett (Lamacraft), Malins. Subs Not Used: Whitaker, McElvoy, McDevitt