|Date||Saturday 8 September 2012|
|Match||Wingate & Finchley v Royston Town
|Competition||FA Cup with Budweiser: First Round Qualifying|
|Crows MoM||Jack Bradshaw|
The Crows will get a second bite of the cherry after a stunning 25 yard volley from Luke Robins gave them a deserved draw at Ryman Premier League side Wingate & Finchley.
On a stifling hot day, once again Paul Attfield's side did it the hard way coming from behind with a second half performance and second half chances that could and probably should have seen them win the game.
As in recent league games, The Crows started slowly and allowed their higher division hosts to dominate the opening exchanges. Will Norris had to make a superb early save clawing away a fine 20 yard chip with a full length tip wide. Pressure continued and it was no surprise when Wingate took an 18th minute lead when some poor defending allowed Ladd to score from a tight angle.
The hot conditions made it tough for the players but the pitch was in superb condition and Royston gradually found their feet and created two good chances with Ryan Ingrey turning a right wing cross wide from eight yards and Luke Robins heading a free kick over from ten yards with no defender in attendance.
Just before half time Tom Malins broke the offside trap but his squared pass couldn't find a team mate and the danger was averted. The remainder of the half stayed in the balance but the visitors lacked their normal spark and needed half time.
Kaan Fehmi and Matt Standen replaced Ryan Ingrey and Tom Malins during the interval and not for the first time this season the team returned a second half performance to receive the plaudits.
The Crows took the game to their hosts and spent much of the half in and around the Wingate penalty area but just lacked a cutting edge to create the openings their approach play deserved. With attacking intent the hosts looked lively on the break and had a couple of presentable chances but both flashed across the goal without players to convert.
As time ticked away it looked like their first half performance would cost The Crows and something special was needed, that arrived in the 82nd minute. Luke Robins raced onto a long diagonal ball from defence and getting behind the full back hit a first time volley across the keeper into the top corner.
The hosts looked tired and Royston went for the win with Ryan Lockett and Matt Standen both shooting over the bar from great positions with the home side defending desperately. A last minute chance fell for Lockett from a left wing cross but his looping header was cleared off the line but some alert defending.
Two sets of tired players at the final whistle in the hot conditions but The Crows will feel they deserved at least a replay from their efforts but also knowing they created enough clear chances to have won the tie outright and the hosts may well be relieved to get another try on Tuesday evening.
Team: Norris, Endacott, Wilson, De La Salle, Bradshaw, Collins, Edwards, Malins (Fehmi), Ingrey (Standen), Lockett, Robins. – Unused: Bronti, Butler, Howard.