|Date||Tuesday 19 April 2016|
|Match||Royston Town v Ware|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
|Royston Scorers||Ingrey, Scott Bridges, Thomas|
Another hard fought three points keep Royston Town in the title race, albeit needing Kings Langley to drop points, tonight beating a combative Ware side that chose confrontation before football and despite taking an early lead were worn down by a more controlled Crows display with the visitors having their numbers reduced to nine before the game ended.
The first half was an even, but fragmented affair, not helped by some erratic officiating, with the Crows dominating possession with good periods of ball retention but again not seeing an end product to their build up play. Ware took an against the run of play lead on 22 minutes with the spikey Josh Oyibo unleashing a swerving 30 yard effort that dipped and curved into the top corner to stun the slightly dominant hosts. 0-1.
A period of stop/start play did nothing to help the Crows’ efforts to get back into this game with the referee poorly placed to make an accurate call on a clear penalty area hand ball and it looked like Steve Castle would need the half-time to re-align his troops to find a way to score. Not so, as a piercing move on the stroke of half time saw Robbie Mason win a good knock on header and Rhys Hoenes did his bit helping it on well and leaving Ryan Ingrey with a lot to do, but he moved sharply to drive left sided into the box and hit a superb left foot finish that squeezed with velocity between post and Ware keeper, Tom Coulton, to get the scores back even at half-time. 1-1.
All square and all to play for and the encouraging home crowd enjoyed an eventful second 45 minutes that was crammed with game defining incident and action.
The visitors came out with purpose and the Crows took some time to re-engage and it took some frantic defending, notably a superb Danny May tackle, to keep the Ware strikers from regaining the advantage, protecting the unusually fragile looking Ron Yates well.
With Castle urging his players to “keep the ball” the game pivoted on the hour mark as skipper Scott Bridges featured prominently. A 20 yard free kick from Bridges was solidly blocked and came back to him to think again and as he collected the ball to redeliver, he was clattered by Dernell Wynter too clumsily for the referee and a penalty was awarded. Bridges powered the ball past the diving Coulton. 2-1.
In the melee of the goal celebration a mindless deliberate elbow from Khale DaCosta on Hoenes witnessed by the referee reduced the visitors to 10 men.
On 73 minutes Ware substitute and Royston home boy Justin Leavers was also dismissed from the field for a crazy two footed challenge on Jack Bradshaw and the Cambridge United on loan striker vacated the game leaving his team with nowhere to go.
Royston were awarded a second penalty following a strong run by Ingrey on 77 minutes that again Scott Bridges stepped forward to take but this time he blasted his effort high and off the top of the bar.
Royston continued to press to kill off this game against the nine men of Ware and finally got the third goal on 88 minutes with Danny May delivering a high ball in and substitute Simon Thomas leapt distractingly in front of Coulton and it is unsure whether he got a touch on the ball, but he did enough to distract the Ware keeper and the ball ended up in the net with the tall striker receiving credit for the score. 3-1.
Royston Town need to win both their remaining matches and hope Kings Langley drop points in their last game for the Crows to snatch the title and automatic promotion.
Team: Yates, May, Scott-Morriss (McDevitt), Frater, Brathwaite, Bridges Scott, Bridges Stuart, Okay (Bradshaw), Ingrey, Mason (Thomas), Hoenes.
Subs not used – Powell, Towner.