10-man Crows win Cup Final
ROYSTON Town capped off a fantastic season by winning the Spartan South Midlands Floodlit Cup on Sunday. And they won it despite having to play the majority of the match with a one-man disadvantage after Ashley Grinham was given his marching orders in the
ROYSTON Town capped off a fantastic season by winning the Spartan South Midlands Floodlit Cup on Sunday.
And they won it despite having to play the majority of the match with a one-man disadvantage after Ashley Grinham was given his marching orders in the 15th minute after an off-the-ball clash with a Broxbourne player.
Striker Ryan Lockett was the two-goal hero for the Crows, but this was an excellent team performance from Paul Attfield's team who showed resilience and skill in equal measure to deservedly retain the trophy.
Attfield was understandably delighted with the result, and says his team thoroughly deserved the victory.
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He said: "I thought we deserved it. Their tactics spoiled it at the beginning and they tried to get a reaction in an un-gamely manor and we fell fowl of that. But when we went down to 10 men their tactics then changed from a football point of view.
"I thought we were the better team throughout even when we had 10 on the pitch. "They had a little spell near the end but other than that we were always in control."
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Attfield didn't have any complaints over Grinham's sending-off but praised the other players for rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the job in hand.
"I didn't really see it but none of our players complained about it. I think something happened with one of their players and the lad has reacted in the wrong way.
"We didn't lose our game after that and we continued to pass the ball well and we wanted it the most and, in cup football, that's normally the required tonic.
"It's a great end to the season and everybody put in a great shift and the effort was there for all to see.
"When we went a man down we were quite happy to let them have it defensively and just keep our shape. Apart from their goal they didn't really look like scoring in truth and I think we generally won the midfield battle."
The match started at a frantic pace and tackles were flying in all over the show as Broxbourne looked to antagonise Royston at every opportunity.
And it paid off for the home side as Grinham was shown a red card for apparently kicking a Broxbourne player in retaliation for an elbow off the ball.
Attfield decided to keep three at the back despite the no longer having his left-back on the pitch, and it looked like a very good move as Royston went on to have the majority of the chances in the first half.
Their best chance came when Ricky Young missed a sitter after finding himself with a clear shot on goal 12 yards out only to blaze high over the bar.
The Crows couldn't have wished for a better start to the second half as they were awarded a penalty after Lockett was bundled over by a defender.
He quickly dusted himself off to smash home the resultant spot-kick.
Broxbourne were reduced to 10 men just past the hour-mark when their captain was shown a second yellow for taking a free kick too quickly when the referee wasn't ready.
However, Royston couldn't find the killer goal and Broxbourne equalised with just over 10 minutes remaining when their central midfielder fired an unstoppable 30-yard rocket into the bottom corner.
However, Royston scored the winner three minutes later when Locket grabbed his second of the match with a tap in after great work from Carl Edwards on the edge of the box.
The final whistle was met by celebrations from the Crows players and staff and the bubbly also made an appearance as well.