Banbury 2-0 Royston: Nine-man Crows suffer first league defeat

Ed Asafu-Adjaye. Picture: Danny Loo

Ed Asafu-Adjaye. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Royston had two men sent off as they lost 2-0 away at Banbury United on Saturday afternoon – their first league defeat of the season.

John Mills put the home side ahead with just two minutes played, racing clear of the Crows defence to tuck home.

Things went from bad to worse on 18 minutes as Harold Joseph was shown a straight red card after diving into a challenge near the halfway line.

Royston stayed in the game until 80 minutes, but then Ed Asafu-Adjaye was sent off for kicking out at a Banbury player after they both went in for a tackle.

The hosts made their advantage count late on, as Ricky Johnson made it 2-0 with 96 minutes on the clock to condemn the Crows to defeat.

Royston boss Steve Castle was not happy with either red card, writing in his blog on the club's official website: "Harold, who is a defender by trade, was struggling to get near his opponent and, maybe frustration overspilled.

"He put in a challenge that was a booking at most but not the red that he duly received.

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"For me with the level of competence of the officials the area in which the infringement occurred was vital in as much that it was right in front of both dugouts.

"They all went up like Harold had killed the lad, although as I've said I don't think it was a good challenge, anywhere else on the pitch and a booking would have sufficed.

"Ed Asafu-Adjaye got caught on the ball, their player went in well over the top on Ed, and Ed reacted by kicking out.

"The ref took no action on their lad but sent Ed off.

"By the letter of the law, Ed shouldn't have kicked out but the Banbury lad's tackle went totally unpunished - unbelievable."

The Crows return to action on Saturday when they welcome Coalville Town to Garden Walk, and Castle wants to see his side get back to winning ways.

"Now we have a week to lick our wounds and get ourselves back fitness-wise," he said.

"We're hopeful that Ben Martin will be available, also 'Braths' (Daniel Braithwaite) with a bit of luck and Josh (Castiglione) will be close to fitness."

There was also a positive update on the fitness of Taylor Parr, who broke his ankle in pre-season and was expected to miss up to four months through the injury.

"Finally, a quick word about Taylor Parr," said Castle.

"He recently had an operation on his leg break and all went well to get him back as soon as possible."