Attfield: No shame in cup defeat

ROYSTON Town will look to bounce back from their disappointing FA Cup defeat by kicking off another exciting cup run on Saturday. The Crows bowed out of the FA Cup first qualifying round at the weekend with a 4-2 defeat by Ryman League side Hendon. Howe

ROYSTON Town will look to bounce back from their disappointing FA Cup defeat by kicking off another exciting cup run on Saturday.

The Crows bowed out of the FA Cup first qualifying round at the weekend with a 4-2 defeat by Ryman League side Hendon.

However, they took great heart having knocked out Wembley and AFC Hayes on route with 4-0 and 3-1 wins respectively.

And having relished the chance of taking on the big guns, Royston will play the underdog once more this Saturday when they host Essex Senior League side Southend Manor in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase, after the tie was switched to Garden Walk, because of building work at Manor.


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Manager Paul Attfield said: "We were disappointed following Saturday's result - especially having been 3-0 down at half time.

"We struggled a little in the first half, particularly with our passing and as a result we spent a lot of time on the back foot.

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"In having both Damion Williamson and Allan Reid missing, the oldest player was probably 22 and I think that was the reason we looked a little nervous. Hendon's seniority across the pitch certainly made a difference.

"To be fair, I thought that Hendon were a very good side, who were confident without being arrogant. They were a very difficult team to play against - which we knew they would be.

"And for that reason we changed things around and went with a different formation. There were a few grumbles regarding that, especially as we went with both Craig Hammond and Ryan Lockett on the bench.

"But we set out with the intention of being more defensive - although people will argue that in conceding three goals in the first half that wasn't the case. However, I thought we were extremely unlucky to go into the break with the score as it was.

"We changed things again at half-time, and the second half was a lot better, despite shipping an early goal. But we managed to pull two goals back, and with 20 minutes to go the game really had changed.

"We looked more confident and used the ball a lot better. If we had scored another I think we could well have gone on and got a result - we certainly had the chances. But overall it was a good test of our character.

"I have confidence in any side that we field. It's not a decision that I regret. This is football and there is no shame in losing to a side that are some 50 league places higher!"

The gap between Royston and Southend Manor is not so high, and The Crows will be confident that they can send their FA Vase opponents packing - with Manor experiencing a mixed start to the season.

Attfield said: "Southend Manor will be another tough test, but with the fixture originally being at their ground it was good to hear that it had been switched to Garden Walk.

"I've said before how we like playing there and now it's they who will have to do the travelling.

"It should be a good game and we know that we can compete with them."

Royston warmed up for Saturday's clash with a South Midlands Division One Cup clash against Hatfield Town last night (Wednesday).

They are due to face league rivals Sun Postal Sports at Garden Walk on Tuesday night.

Attfield said: "It's been quite intense at the moment and we now have three games in quick succession.

"We've got a few concerns defensively, with Allan and Damion absent, and now Lewis Endacott injured. So I'll be looking at the possibility of bringing someone new in - we'll have to see.

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