Battling Royston impress against City
Royston Town 1 Cambridge City 3 Royston battled bravely against their higher level opposition on Tuesday night, writes TOM BROWN. Three levels is the margin of difference between The Crows and Cambridge City of the Southern Premier, and for spells the So
Royston Town 1 Cambridge City 3
Royston battled bravely against their higher level opposition on Tuesday night, writes TOM BROWN.
Three levels is the margin of difference between The Crows and Cambridge City of the Southern Premier, and for spells the South Midlands Division One side more than held their own.
In an impressive opening spell from both sides, it was clear from the outset that a game of entertaining, attacking football was on the cards.
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The City attack looked particularly lively, however Town centre-backs Michael Debnam and Michael Baker proved more than a match with a series of timely interventions and blocked tackles.
And when Gregg Jackson rolled home Tim Jarman's parried strike after 13 minutes it looked as if Cambridge would not have it all their own way.
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City appeared to lack the killer touch as Drew Roberts wasted two golden opportunities following some clever play from Stephen Smith and Scott Neilson.
However, Neilson eventually made the difference 10 minutes before half-time, reacting quickest to Josh Bronti's goal-line clearance with a cool header.
Almost immediately, Royston hit back, with Will Turl creating a chance for Jarman, but the industrious midfielder could only find the outstretched leg of Luke Howard when through on goal.
Town manager Paul Attfield made wholesale changes at the break, and a completely different 11 emerged with Craig Hammond, Carl Edwards, Lewis Endacott, David Cain, Luke Robins and Allan Reid all taking to the field.
And it was an uncharacteristic mistake by Reid that gifted City a second, with Roberts pouncing on his poor back pass and rounding a stranded Damion Williamson with ease.
Moments later the impressive Neilson capped a fine display, beating Jan Stephens down the right and chipping home another cool finish.
And The Crows had Williamson to thank for limiting the damage as he made three brilliant stops to deny Roberts, Neil Midgley, and Josh Simpson.
Ricky Young and Robins both carved out strikes from distance at the other end, with the latter Royston's main threat on the ball, while Hammond saw one confident shot well saved by Howard in the closing stages.
Attfield said: "It was a good test for us because City are a very good side. They showed why they play at a higher level and looked just that little bit sharper and quicker
"I thought we did fairly well in the first half, but they came on a lot more in the second half. But on the whole I thought it was a positive performance.