|Date||Tuesday 26 November 2013|
|Match||St Ives Town v Royston Town
|Competition||Red Insure Cup: Second Round
|Royston Scorers||Fehmi, Edwards, Lockett
This cold evening cup match provided Royston Town the ideal opportunity to get back on track, to rest a couple of players and give others, keen to keep up their own pressure for a starting place, a full match run out. It also gave striker Kaan Fehmi a welcome first team start following his rehabilitation from an ankle injury. Young, dual-registered, Stotfold goalkeeper George Darlow was brought in and we saw two young full-backs, Billy Baird and Jhai Dhillon lined up alongside Taylor Parr, who shifted into centre back, with stalwart Jack Bradshaw completing the back four.
Four minutes in and the Crows were a goal down. A well worked St Ives training ground corner manoeuvre saw a low kick being met at the front post by a good run from Dan Newman who flicked the ball expertly past the static defenders and goalkeeper.
Kaan Fehmi looked to be relishing the fact that he was back. His concentrated effort and determination was duly rewarded on 19 minutes when he chased down a seemingly easy home keeper ball and caused enough panic between keeper and defenders for the ball to come loose and he hungrily stabbed it home from four yards to equalise the scores.
Fehmi and Rob Mason were linking well and the big striker was winning some great flicks and knock ons bringing Fehmi and others into the game and Luke Robins showed some good footwork and put a shot just wide. Jhai Dillon was showing much more composure tonight and an overlap run saw him put in a decent shot that was blocked away for a corner. Fehmi turned provider as a strong run and accurate cross was met by lurking midfielder Carl Edwards whose shot was powered high over the bar.
A brief lapse in concentration saw the ball bobble in front of the Royston goal and the home team striker put in a dangerous volley just over the bar. Following a big handball shout in the home team penalty area and with Ryan Lockett just about to pull the trigger for a good chance on goal the referee chose to blow the whistle for half time.
No half-time changes for the Crows – but a swap was forced 10 minutes in as Mason collided with McLaughlin in the St Ives goal, landed heavily and needed to be replaced by Craig Hammond. Ryan Lockett started to come more into this game and his cross found the newly arrived Hammond who couldn’t quite connect. St Ives brought on their dangerous striker, Dubi Ogbonna, and almost immediately he got on the end of a well worked short corner routine and shot home to give his side the lead.
It could be seen that Royston were playing some good pass and move football going forward – but at times the defence were being pulled out of position as they stretched the play to try and get back into this cup-tie and the overall organised shape was lost temporarily.
The addition of Mitchell Bryant to replace the superb, but tiring, Fehmi provided the impetus to get the visitors back into this match. On 82 minutes, tricky feet and a sublime turn on the edge of the left side of the box saw Bryant break loose and his look up and pin-point pass found Carl Edwards on the central edge of the box, a trademark Eddy shimmy and look up was followed by a top class finish high into the net to level the score again and suggest the imminence of penalties at 90 minutes.
But no, three minutes later and the cup tie was won. Ryan Lockett picked up the ball in his own half and drove forward down the middle of the pitch and despite being under extreme pressure and more than one foul attempts to stop his run, he dipped his shoulder and shaped well to finish low and hard left-footed into the corner of the net. It was a great solo effort to seize an important morale boosting victory following a much improved all round team performance.
Team: Darlow, Baird, Dhillon, Bradshaw, Parr, Edwards, Cambridge (c) (Collins), Lockett, Mason (Hammond), Fehmi (Bryant), Robins.
Subs not used – Murray, Spencer.