Awesome Adam clinches last-gasp win for Crows as Castle’s spirited men continue good run

Adam Murray grabbed a late winner against Leatherhead. Pictured against Enfield Town last month: Dan

Adam Murray grabbed a late winner against Leatherhead. Pictured against Enfield Town last month: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

‘Awesome’ Adam Murray grabbed a 93rd minute winner to send 10-man Royston through to the FA Trophy third qualifying round after coming from behind to beat Leatherhead 3-2 on Saturday.

Manager Steve Castle’s side are unbeaten in 10 out of their last 11 games, extending their good form with a spirited comeback in an eventful second round qualifying tie.

Royston started slowly, struggling to get into the game in the first 15 minutes and conceded two early goals to Gillingham loanee Liam Nash and D’sean Theobalds.

Goals from Harry Darling and Josh Castiglione pulled the Crows level, but two yellow cards for Darling meant they went down to ten men, before Royston’s star centre-back Murray’s last-gasp bullet header won the tie.

Speaking to Royston Crow Sport, Castle said: “Adam’s been fantastic since he’s been with us.

“He’s a defensive rock but when we play him up top he’s a complete pest. He really makes the defender’s lives hell, particularly from set plays.

“We found ourselves 2-0 down before we’d even got going, which was disappointing, but the lads showed resilience to get themselves back and put in a great second half performance.

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“We’ve got to give them plaudits for the result but the slow start is something we need to look at. I think our preparation is as detailed and professional as we can get, but sometimes we don’t have the intensity that we should.

“It was an up and down game, I kept the same team from Tuesday’s 6-1 [over Kemspston Rovers in the Challenge Cup] hoping that I’d get the same performance, but we certainly didn’t get that.”

The official Leatherhead FC Twitter account wrote after the game: “Thanks to Royston for their hospitality and good luck for the rest of the season. A very strong side.”

The Crows are currently 14th in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier League and 14 points off the top but with two or three games in hand on the majority of teams in the league.

Castle said: “I think it’s going to be a tight league. Kettering look like they are running away with things but it’s so early you just don’t know. “There’s an awful lot to play for and the signs are very good for us.”

Royston have drawn Vanarama National League South side Eastbourne Borough in the third round qualifying of the FA Trophy.

They’ll make the 236 mile round trip to the south-coast club later this month, with the winner progressing to the first round proper.

On Saturday the Crows will host Redditch Town at Garden Walk. Redditch are seventh but only five points ahead of Royston despite having played three extra games.

Castle said: “Redditch are another team that are going to be up there this season. They’ve got a long journey to get here but we’ll be going into that under no illusions.

“They’re a good team and we’ve got to give them the respect they deserve, but I’d like to think that we can compete with anyone, especially at home.”

Royston will be without Darling, who will be suspended following his red card on Saturday.

The Crows are away at top of the league Kings Lynn tonight, a tough test on which Castle said: “We’ve already beaten Kings Lynn once this season, so hopefully we can take some points off them again.”