Royston and Farnborough share spoils in entertaining top-two encounter

PUBLISHED: 09:30 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:31 20 March 2017

Scott Bridges.

Scott Bridges.

Danny Loo Photography 2016

Royston Town shared six goals with second-place Farnborough as the Southern Division One Central’s top two sides met at Cherrywood Road.

The point means that the Crows can’t win the title when they host Kempton Rovers this weekend as they are 17 points clear at the top with six games to go while Farnborough have to play seven, but they are as good as there.

This was Royston’s biggest challenge for some weeks and their winning run of 11 games – impressive at any level – was pitted against the decent recent form of their nearest opponents.

Royston took the lead but by half-time trailed 2-1 as their hosts hit back.

On 18 minutes John Frendo placed Josh Castiglione in on goal and with defender John Oyenuga chasing, the youngster cut in and placed an accurate finish past the exposed Zak Oualah.

Farnborough equalised on the breakaway with Scott Donnelly converting accurately on 32 minutes and they then took the lead with a free-kick 25 yards out which was sent over the wall for Joe Welch to scramble across and possibly tip upwards onto the bar only to see the more alert Curtis Osano arrive to head the loose ball in.

The start of the second half was much cagier from both sides and it was the Crows that seized the initiative by grabbing an equaliser.

Skipper Scott Bridges found some space in the Farnborough area in the 56th minute and being forced, whilst surrounded by three defenders, onto the right-side byline produced a brilliant high hanging far post cross that Ryan Ingrey headed home powerfully from two yards.

It took an out of character, nightmare-inducing moment for the usually superb Royston keeper Welch to gift Farnborough the lead.

A high miss-hit effort on 71 minutes looked to be Welch’s simplest save of the season but he inexplicably dropped the ball in front of himself giving the following-in Perry Coles the easiest header in.

The Crows kept going and with 90 minutes up skipper Bridges was fouled about 21 yards out.

Bridges, not for the first time this season, swung a good shot around the wall to test the positioning of the keeper and although Oualah made contact the ball had enough on it to squirm through and nestle in the goal.

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