Royston Town fell further behind in the chase for a play-off place with a disappointing 2-1 defeat away at AFC Hayes.

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In a game that saw the Crows have enough chances to be well ahead, three more important points were lost and the Herts outfit suffered the first double - home and away - defeat by a team this season.

The game couldn’t have started brighter as pleasing sweeping moves on a decent surface were built on a stable back line that saw Jack Bradshaw move to play an impressive game at right-back along with his counterpart Jhai Dhillon at left-back having one of his better games for the Crows.

Early chances saw Reece Dobson lob wide, Lewis Endacott run and cross too close to the keeper, and Robbie Nightingale put a decent chance over the bar following some fine linking build up play by Kaan Fehmi and Dobson.

The breakthrough did come in the 15th minute as Fehmi’s long shot was deflected past Bobby Khiara in the home team’s goal.

Despite a couple of ragged periods the Crows were in total control of the game and this made AFC Hayes’ equaliser on 37 minutes even harder to fathom. Joe De La Salle, running back towards his own goal, dallied and was dispossessed, giving lively home forward Tony Mendy just enough time to unleash a shot that beat Nick Thompson.

There were no changes and a revved up Royston re-took the pitch for the second period looking to seize the day. The first period of play was again all Crows and the positive over-lapping of Bradshaw and Dhillon was noticeable.

The returning Luke Robins replaced Endacott on the hour and the visitors pushed on to get what would be an important winner.

Another change brought on Carl Edwards for Nightingale and a big 15 minutes in the fortune of Royston’s season ensued. Edwards was injured, which left him limping, and the game became more stretched as the two sides were more desperate to get that important second goal.

Sadly it was AFC Hayes who took all the points for the second time this season as the superb Mendy unleashed a firm cross goal shot that found the far corner.

Despite a last minute substitution bringing on Ryan Ingrey to add his usual energy, Royston slipped to an agonising defeat.

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