Attfield pleased to grind out victory

Crows win first cup game of the season

ROYSTON Town won their first cup game in six attempts this season on Tuesday night away at Hullbridge Sports.

Cup competitions have not been a happy hunting ground for Paul Attfield’s team so far this season but they were deserved winners here following new striker Bobby Dance’s solitary strike.

Royston started on the front foot and controlled the game in the opening 20 minutes. Ross Collins had an early 25-yard effort which flew just over the crossbar before Tom Malins rounded the ‘keeper after beating the offside trap but his effort was blazed over.

Collins then had another chance from a superb Ricky Young cross but couldn’t get enough on his header and the ball went just wide.

Royston deservedly took the lead in the 13th minute when Malins’ corner was met by Dance at the near post and his header arrowed into the far corner giving the ‘keeper no chance.

This sprung the home team into life and the game became more of a physical battle with both teams committing hard challenges all around the pitch.

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The game became more scrappy but the hosts did create one excellent chance when a run and cross from the winger was headed against the crossbar by the centre forward.

The second half followed suite with Royston looking more likely to score in open play while Hullbridge provided more of a threat from set plays. Two such set-play corner routines were met by headers that really should have tested Royston’s goal but both went over.

The Crows’ best chances fell to Ricky Young on the counter attack but all of his fine strikes were met by equally good saves from the home ‘keeper.

The only defensive mistake Royston made resulted in a goalmouth scramble which was eventually cleared by Man of the Match David Cain.

Royston defended well in open play and rarely looked like being breached. In attack they had the chances to score the important second goal but overall it was second clean sheet in the week from Paul Attfield’s side.

Attfield was pleased his team were able to grind out the result.

“It was a long journey to do midweek for some of the lads and some of them didn’t make it to the ground until 15 minutes before kick-off,” said Attfield.

“It was a tight game but I’m pleased with what I’ve seen in the last two games.

“The East Anglian Cup is not our priority but it was good to get the win because it’s important to keep up momentum.”

Royston will now travel to either Ryman League side Brentwood Town or Beds County League side Southill Alexander in the second round.

Games continue to come thick and fast for Royston as they welcome Bedford to Garden Walk tonight (Thursday) for the first round of the Spartan South Midlands Floodlit Cup which the Crows won last season.

Royston Town: Howard, Endacott (Apostolos), Whitaker, Hone, Cain, Collins (Welch,) Young, Dance, Doku, Malins.