Attfield happy after St Margaretsbury win
Two wins from two for the Crows
ROYSTON Town boss Paul Attfield was a pleased man after his team recorded their second win of the new season after victory over a well organised St Margaretsbury at Garden Walk on Tuesday night.
On a rain-soaked pitch, Royston dominated for large periods of the match without ever really creating too many chances, but a solitary goal from striker George Brinkman in the 23rd minute proved the difference on the night.
It was another clean sheet for Attfield’s side as the impressive back four looked solid throughout, but the Crows boss says there is more to come from his side.
“It takes maybe 5 or 6 games to get the sharpness and match fitness levels back,” said Attfield.
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“We’ve got new players that have come in so we looked a little bit disjointed at times and we looked quite tired in the last 20 minutes but I expected that.
“I thought first half we played well and at a good tempo throughout and we will play a lot worse opposition than that because they were quite well organised and enthusiastic and it’s the sort of game we would have dropped points in last season.
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He also reserved special mention for centre-half pairing Liam McDevitt and Nick Mulvaney who look to already have formed a good partnership in the heart of the defence.
“We knew we needed to improve defensively because we conceded too many goals last year so we brought some decent players in,” added Attfield.
“Two clean sheets in the first two games, you can ask for any more than that. If we keep clean sheets, we know we’ve got the fire power to score goals so we’re more than half way there if we know we’re not going to concede during a game.
“Liam and Nicko are both very strong. They hadn’t played with each other before so it’s going to take a few games and they’re fighting for their match-fitness as well but there were moments in the game when they looked really strong together. Teams are going to find it hard to score goals against us this year.”
Despite the victory and a energetic performance from his team, the Crows were unable to forge as many goal-scoring opportunities as they’d have liked, but Attfield believes it won’t take long for the sharpness in the final third to return.
He added: “Credit to St Margaretsbury because they were quite well organised. In the second half when we started to get tired our decision making was quite poor. We got into quite a few good positions but our final ball wasn’t good enough.
“But, like I’ve said to the players, I think it takes a bit of time to get that sharpness back and I’ve got no concerns at all with two wins from two.
The Crows started the match brightly but it took until midway through the first half before they took the lead.
Luke Robins’ cross back into the danger zone from the left found an unmarked Brinkman who duly headed past the visiting ‘keeper from six yards.
St Margaretsbury were certainly no push overs, as they harried Royston for every ball and sometimes looked a bit over-zealous in their attempts to win the ball after some reckless tackles which often went unnoticed by the referee.
It was more of the same after the break – plenty of energy – but little reward in the final third of the field.
Robins should have done better when he shot weakly at the ‘keeper from close range and Brinkman shot wide with a speculative effort from 30 yards out.
The Crows thought they should have had a chance to put the game to bed with just over 10 minutes left when substitute Ricky Young was blatantly tripped inside the penalty area, only to see his appeals waved away by the referee.
Royston saw off the game comfortably and now look forward to Saturday’s FA Cup tie at home to Crawley Green.
Royston Town: Gibson, Endacott McElvoy, Mulvaney (c), McDevitt, Payne (De Lacy), Edwards, Bronti (Young), Brinkman (Welch), Lockett, Robins.