Attfield unhappy with penalty decisions
Aylesbury 3 Royston Town 2 ROYSTON Town manager Paul Attfield criticised the match officials after seeing his side give up a two goal advantage at Aylesbury on Saturday. The normally reserved Royston boss was left disappointed that the officials awarded t
Aylesbury 3 Royston Town 2
ROYSTON Town manager Paul Attfield criticised the match officials after seeing his side give up a two goal advantage at Aylesbury on Saturday.
The normally reserved Royston boss was left disappointed that the officials awarded the hosts two second half penalties while missing one at the other end when it appeared that Ricky Young was brought down in the box.
Speaking after Saturday's defeat, Attfield said: "Win or lose I very rarely criticise the officials but today the referee was poor and got the big decisions wrong.
"We lost last week and I was critical of the players because we only had ourselves to look at but today they were superb and deserved at least a point from the game against the strongest side in the league and that was taken from us which you can never legislate for."
Both sides played their part in a superb spectacle although the signs before the game were not good with both centre halves Ben Stocker and Luke Jones unable to make it through the pre-match warm up.
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A complete reshuffle at the back saw Lewis Endacott partner Matt Cook with Danny Apostolos slotting in at eight back, but despite these late chances Royston began brightly and caught their hosts flat footed with some crisp passing football.
Royston took the lead in just the third minute when Ryan Lockett, running onto Carl Edwards' weighted pass, lobbed the ball into the net over the advancing 'keeper.
The hosts were a particular threat from set plays but the Crows defended well and took a two goal lead midway through the half when Lockett raced clear of the back line to slot under the 'keeper.
The rest of the half was end-to-end as the hosts looked to claw their way back into the game while Royston searched for a third, but it was Aylesbury who succeeded when a corner was not cleared properly and the ball was volleyed home by defender Matt Haywood.
The second half started with Josh Bronti's volley being caught at full stretch by the 'keeper and the hosts then had a fine spell with some play of their own forcing Royston to defend vigorously. Jorden Gibson made two good blocks but the home equaliser midway through the half came with great controversy.
Lockett looked to be fouled on half way but as Aylesbury swiftly switched the play a forward appeared to exaggerate a fall over Arin Fehmi's challenge and the assistant referee flagged for a penalty.
The twice taken kick by Craig Henney was scored despite vigorous protests but it turned out the controversy would inspire the young Royston team who more than took the game back to the hosts.
With 10 minutes remaining Young outpaced the home defence and was taken out by the home 'keeper but to everyone's disbelief the referee and his assistant only swapped eye contact with neither giving the decision.
The game was taken from Royston with two minutes remaining when Endacott was penalised for holding an Aylesbury forward following a right wing cross.
The penalty was converted by Nathan Graham but Royston laid siege to the home goal in the remaining moments and Matt Cook smashed a volley against the bar while Ross Collins and Edwards had shots blocked before the referee ended the game.
Paul Attfield said: "Performances like today four times out of five would have got us maximum points so it is important for us to hold heads high and take it into next week's cup game. We could have done no more."
Royston: Gibson, Apostolos, Fehmi, Endacott, Cook, Collins, Edwards, Bronti, Young, Lockett, Robins (Wilkinson). Unused sub: Dolan.