Thursday, January 17, 2013
A KAAN Fehmi inspired performance drove Royston to three precious points on Saturday against Aylesbury in their quest for promotion to the dreamland of the Southern League Premier, writes Jez Izod.
After a dour first 20 minutes, in which a Royston team missing seven regular starters struggled to adapt, the little striker suddenly found a surge in his game and after weaving past four Aylesbury players was shut out by a terrific Max Farreley tackle.
Three minutes later, a moved started by Fehmi found Tommy Malins lurking on the right, the Royston number seven scampered down the wing and as he was about to let a dangerous cross in, he was intercepted by Farreley.
Royston heads were up at this point with Fehmi at the heart of everything good.
On 28 minutes Fehmi found Ryan Ingrey in the middle who was promptly fouled by Craig Faulconbridge.
Ingrey promptly leapt up from the floor and took a quick free-kick and found Fehmi making a nuisance of himself on the edge of the area, his powerful shot was initially saved by Simeon Charles, but Carl Edwards reacted quickly to the rebound to put the Crows ahead.
Royston smelt blood at this point and piled forward at every opportunity.
On 35 minutes Malins was controversially booked for a dive, when he had clearly been scythed down in the box by Lamar Simpson.
On 37 minutes, after a patient build up by the Moles, Luke Abrahams was given the freedom of Garden Walk and he hit a shot like he will never do again to level for the away side.
After the capitulation last Saturday after going in front, most Crows fans were preparing for the worst, but Fehmi ensured that there would be no repeat.
Four minutes from the interval saw a clever move from the Royston number nine and he found Matt Standen in acres of space, but Charles read the script perfectly and saved at his feet.
A minute later, another pin-point pass from Fehmi found Malins on the right and the tricky winger used his pace to beat Abrahams and his pin point cross found Lockett, who made no mistake to give the Crows a deserved lead.
With Royston still celebrating this goal, a long ball up totally confused the Royston defence and after a superb pass by Osie, Sonny French lobbed Luke Howard to level the scores again.
The second half saw Aylesbury in the initial ascendancy, with James Faulkner shooting at the Royston goal, only to see his effort saved magnificently by Luke Howard.
As the clock hit 52 minutes, Fehmi latched onto a superb pass from Malins and as he entered the box was pushed by Simpson. No penalty said the ref to the unbelievable cries from the Royston fans.
As the saying goes “he who laughs last, laughs loudest” and after a fantastic move involving Ryan Lockett and Lee Wilson, the Royston number three found Fehmi in the box and he made no mistake from close range.
From here on in Royston expertly defended this lead and Aylesbury could only worry the Crows a couple of times with a shot from Connor confidently saved by Howard on 70 minutes.
With 10 minutes remaining, a never give up attitude by Malins saw the winger run and run before he was marshalled out by Simpson.
With Aylesbury becoming desperate for the equaliser, Osie found himself clear in the area, but the linesman signalled for offside.
With the Moles number 10 protesting furiously, the atmosphere was broken by a call from the Royston fans, of him being closer to Aylesbury than being onside.
A minute from time Royston fans’ hearts were bounding at an unhealthy beat, when Osie dived theatrically in the area, but the referee was wise to this and a penalty was not given.
The Moles continued to pile forward within the six minutes of extra-time, but could not find a leveller.
Overall, it was an excellent result against an experienced, physical and in form side.
Royston Town FC Team: Howard, Parr, Wilson, Bradshaw ©, Endacott, Edwards, Malins, Ingrey, Fehmi, Standen (O’Brien 87 minutes), Lockett. Subs Not Used: Butler, McGrandles, Robertson.
Man Of The Match: Kaan Fehmi